Texas Rangers – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-25T20:59:40Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers To Name Doug Mathis Pitching Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=260504 2020-10-24T01:39:54Z 2020-10-24T01:39:54Z The Rangers plan to name bullpen coach Doug Mathis as their pitching coach, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Mathis will take over for Julio Rangel, whom the Rangers said goodbye to earlier this month.

Mathis will grab the helm of a pitching staff that struggled for two seasons under Rangel, combining for the majors’ fifth worst-ERA (5.07) and its seventh-highest FIP (4.85). In fairness to Rangel, though, the Rangers weren’t exactly teeming with talent on his watch. However, they did at least get back-to-back solid seasons from right-hander Lance Lynn (whom they could trade during the winter), while Jonathan Hernandez blossomed in their bullpen this year.

The 37-year-old Mathis has long been familiar to the Rangers, who spent a 13th-round pick on him in 2005 before he was part of their coaching staff. As a player, Mathis didn’t have an extensive career with the team, though all 87 1/3 innings during his MLB tenure came with Texas. He logged a 4.84 ERA with the club from 2008-10.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Claim Art Warren]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=259534 2020-10-21T18:47:43Z 2020-10-21T18:40:47Z The Rangers announced Wednesday that they’ve claimed right-hander Art Warren off waivers from the division-rival Mariners. The move brings Texas’ 40-man roster to a total of 39 players and drops Seattle’s to a count of 33.

Warren, 27, has just 5 1/3 big league innings under his belt, all coming in 2019 with Seattle. He averaged just north of 95 mph on his heater in that time and drew 70 grades on the pitch when he was rising through the system after being selected in the 23rd round of the 2015 draft. Warren worked almost exclusively with a four-seamer and a slider — his most frequently used offering — in that tiny sample of work.

Had their been a conventional minor league season in 2020, Warren likely would’ve been ticketed for Triple-A — a level at which he still has yet to pitch. He jumped straight from Double-A to the Majors when making that 2019 debut. In a total of 47 1/3 frames of Double-A ball, Warren carries a 1.71 ERA and has averaged a dozen strikeout per nine innings, although he’s also averaged five walks per nine. He still has a minor league option remaining after spending the 2020 season in the Mariners’ player pool at their alternate training site. Warren did get a call to the big leagues with Seattle this past season but didn’t get into a game before being optioned back out.

As Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times points out, via Twitter, the Mariners have a whopping eight players on the 60-day injured list who’ll either need to be reinstated or designated for assignment, so it’s not much of a surprise to see some continued roster maintenance. That group includes Tom Murphy, Mitch Haniger, Gerson Bautista, Matt Magill, Andres Munoz, Taylor Guilbeau, Carl Edwards Jr. and Nestor Cortes Jr. Not all are locks to stick on the roster — Edwards, in particular, could be on shaky ground — but Murphy, Haniger, Magill and perhaps Munoz are all ticketed for notable roles next year.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Rangers Close To Hiring Pitching Coach]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=259006 2020-10-20T01:21:22Z 2020-10-20T01:21:22Z
  • The Rangers hope to fill their pitching coach vacancy by the conclusion of the World Series, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. That individual is expected to come from within the organization, Sullivan adds. Texas parted ways with former pitching coach Julio Rangel earlier this month.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[International Signings: 10/7/20]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=253100 2020-10-08T00:59:39Z 2020-10-08T00:59:42Z A couple of notable international signings:

    • The Pirates announced they have signed 19-year-old pitcher Po-Yu Chen. The Taiwanese righty will receive a $1.25MM signing bonus, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Twitter link). Chen has evidently been on the organization’s radar for quite some time, with GM Ben Cherington noting the club has scouted him extensively over the past three years (via Rob Biertempfel of the Athletic). Notably, the Bucs’ only trade at this summer’s trade deadline netted them additional international pool space, as outfielder Jarrod Dyson was dealt to the White Sox for $243,300 in bonus availability.
    • The Rangers signed 17-year-old outfielder Alejandro Osuna out of Mexico, per Baseball America’s Ben Badler (via Twitter). As Badler notes, Osuna is the brother of Astros’ reliever Roberto Osuna. Alejandro Osuna also has a twin brother, Pedro Osuna, who also plays outfield, but bats and throws right-handed, unlike Alejandro, who bats and throws lefty.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Part Ways With Pitching Coach Julio Rangel]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=252924 2020-10-06T22:44:40Z 2020-10-06T22:44:40Z Rangers pitching coach Julio Rangel and catching coordinator Hector Ortiz won’t be returning to their positions in 2021, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.  Rangel’s contract won’t be renewed, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram adds, and Ortiz has been offered another role in the organization but it isn’t yet known if he will accept.

    During Rangel’s two seasons as pitching coach, Texas hurlers combined for a 5.09 ERA in 2019 (24th of 30 teams) and a 5.02 ERA in 2020 (23rd).  While ERA isn’t the sole determining factor in a pitching staff’s effectiveness, and the Rangers hadn’t been getting consistent results from their arms for years prior to Rangel’s arrival, clearly the club felt a change was necessary.

    The next pitching coach will likely be charged with developing some younger pitchers, as GM Jon Daniels is on record as saying the 2021 team will look to incorporate more “youth and energy on the field.”  With this mindset and a lower payroll in mind, it appears as though the Rangers are viewing at least next season as something of a rebuilding year.

    Prior to joining the Rangers, Rangel was a coach in the Indians organization from 2007-17 and then worked as the Giants’ minor league pitching coordinator.  His first official big league job was technically with the Reds as their bullpen coach, though Rangel was hired by Cincinnati after the 2018 season but never actually suited up for the team, as the Rangers came calling with the pitching coach offer (Rangel had the blessing of Reds manager David Bell, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal detailed).

    Ortiz’s final Major League games came in a Rangers uniform in 2002, and he has spent the last 15 seasons working in a variety of coaching and managerial roles at the major and minor league levels.  2020 was his first season as catching coordinator, after previously working on the big league staff as a first base coach and bullpen coach since 2015.

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 10/3/20]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=251848 2020-10-04T02:58:26Z 2020-10-04T02:58:26Z A trio of players appear ticketed for free agency this offseason after being outrighted off clubs’ rosters yesterday, per the MLB.com transactions log:

    • Cubs’ reliever Josh Osich cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier this week. Chicago acquired Osich from the Red Sox at this year’s trade deadline, although he only wound up pitching in four games for them down the stretch. Osich combined for a 6.38 ERA in 18.1 innings for the two teams this year, although he did rack up an impressive 24:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
    • White Sox reliever Alex McRae also passed through the wire after being designated this week. McRae spent the first six seasons of his professional career in the Pirates’ organization before joining the Sox last offseason. He tossed three scoreless innings for the South Siders this year. McRae has a 7.50 ERA/7.09 FIP in 36 career MLB innings.
    • Also passing through waivers was Rangers’ infielder Yadiel Rivera. The 28-year-old utilityman was reported to have been designated for assignment in early September, but he instead reverted to the injured list after being diagnosed with an elbow injury. Rivera wound up having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his elbow, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reported late last month, and is expected to be out for five to six months. Rivera has just a .175/.244/.217 line in 319 MLB plate appearances across six seasons.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers To Reduce Payroll In 2021]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=251630 2020-10-03T14:12:37Z 2020-10-03T14:12:37Z Like many or most other teams, the Rangers are planning to trim their payroll in response to the revenues lost during the shortened 2020 season.  In a session with media earlier this week, managing partner Ray Davis told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and other reporters that “two major factors” will contribute to less spending next year.

    The first is how much baseball is going to lose [financially] in 2020.  And also, the life cycle of our club,” Davis said.  “We have some high-paid contracts rolling off our payroll.  We will have some minimum salary players coming on.  So, it gives a justification, if you will, to not to spend as much.  The economics of baseball has been so sad this year and there is uncertainty about what 2021 will bring.”

    The Rangers were projected to have a payroll in the $153MM range heading into the season, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the season was reduced to 60 games (thus reducing Texas’ outlay to roughly $65MM).  Grant figures the club won’t go much, if at all, beyond the $100MM figure in 2021, though as Davis noted, some of that reduction was already baked into the future plans.  Approximately $47.1MM will come off the books in the form of departing free agents, most notably Shin-Soo Choo and Corey Kluber — Texas holds a $14MM club option on Kluber for next season but that will surely be declined in the wake of Kluber’s injury-plagued year.  It’s also worth mentioning that 2020 was the final year of the Rangers’ outstanding obligation to retired slugger Prince Fielder.

    Assuming Grant’s $100MM projection is correct, that leaves Texas GM Jon Daniels with some room to maneuver, as Roster Resource has just under $62MM in payroll commitments on the Rangers’ books for the coming season.  However, as Daniels has already publicly committed to a “youth movement” year in 2021, major expenditures don’t seem likely.  The Rangers had already taken a generally more conservative approach to free agent spending in recent years, most notably their strategy of signing veteran pitchers (such as Lance Lynn, Mike Minor, Jordan Lyles, and Kyle Gibson) to multi-year deals that didn’t break the bank.

    It remains to be seen if the Rangers will consider even those modest types of contracts this winter, though Davis did make it clear that Daniels will be the one continuing to weigh those decisions.  Daniels has been running the team’s baseball operations department for 15 seasons, and though the Rangers have suffered through four straight losing seasons, Davis still believes in Daniels’ track record.

    Jon has demonstrated that he and his team can put together winning ballclubs,” Davis said.  “If you thought about going out and replacing him, all you have is a question mark.  We have a known entity.  We have a group of guys that know how to get it done and I think they are going to get it done again.”

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers’ Jon Daniels On Rotation, Infield]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=250456 2020-09-29T22:28:34Z 2020-09-29T22:27:06Z On the heels of another disappointing season, one that saw the Rangers finish 22-38 and extend their playoff drought to four years, general manager Jon Daniels spoke to media, including Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and TR Sullivan of MLB.com.

    With their starters having ended 2020 with the majors’ seventh-worst ERA (5.32), Daniels said the Rangers are interested in bringing in a veteran rotation member during the offseason. The only starter on the team who provided high-end production across a large number of innings in 2020 was Lance Lynn, who’s only signed for another year and whom the Rangers could trade for a solid haul. Kyle Cody gave the team outstanding results, albeit over a small number of innings, and the Rangers traded Mike Minor to the A’s before the Aug. 31 deadline.

    Texas has Lynn, Cody, Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson (he and Lyles had rough years) among their most proven starters going into next season. Two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber’s still on the roster, but as someone who missed nearly the entire season with shoulder troubles, he seems like a shoo-in to be bought out for $1MM (as opposed to guaranteeing him $18MM).

    Turning to the offensive side, the Rangers aren’t planning on gifting starting spots to second baseman Rougned Odor or shortstop Elvis Andrus going forward, per Daniels. Frankly, neither player deserves one. Both players could be trade candidates in the coming months, and if that’s the case, the Daniels-led Rangers are confident they won’t have to eat any of their contracts. That may be wishful thinking, as Odor has two more seasons and $27MM left on his contract, while Andrus has $28MM over two years remaining.

    Odor has three seasons of two-plus fWAR in his past, and he’s someone the Rangers signed to a six-year, $49.5MM guarantee entering 2017, but his production has been terrible of late. Despite 10 home runs in 148 plate appearances, the 26-year-old ended 2020 with a .167/.209/.413 line. His 51 wRC+ ranked second to last among 223 hitters who racked up at least 140 PA this season.

    Andrus was even worse than Odor this year, as he logged a 48 wRC+ in 111 trips to the plate. Like Odor, Andrus looked like a cornerstone for the Rangers in his earlier days, which is why they extended him to an eight-year, $120MM contract in early 2013. However, his production has fallen flat over the past few seasons.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Activate Shin-Soo Choo From Injured List]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=249159 2020-09-27T17:30:07Z 2020-09-27T16:44:04Z The Rangers have activated outfielder/DH Shin-Soo Choo from the 10-day injured list, and the veteran slugger will be in the lineup for what might be his last game in a Texas uniform.  To create roster space for Choo, infielder Sherten Apostel was placed on the 10-day IL with lower back tightness.

    A right hand has kept Choo out of action since September 7, and the 38-year-old has a .229/.317/.394 slash line over 126 PA for Texas this season.  While Choo has said that he wants to keep playing in 2021, today’s game could serve as something of a final bow on his seven seasons with the Rangers.  Choo signed a seven-year, $130MM free agent contract during the 2013-14 offseason that ultimately didn’t provide the return Texas was looking for in such a big investment.

    Choo has hit a decent but unspectacular .260/.363/.428 over 3479 PA for the Rangers, good for an 109 OPS+ and 111 wRC+.  This production was rather offset, however, by subpar defense in the corner outfield, and Choo spent quite a bit of time as a designated hitter.  All told, Choo has generated 8.8 fWAR as a Ranger.

    It remains to be seen if a player of Choo’s age and somewhat limited skillset will be able to catch on with another team in 2021, but his left-handed bat is still quite potent against right-handed pitching.  Choo has consistently mashed righties over his career, and even in this down year still has a .766 OPS in 88 PA against right-handers.

    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Shin-Soo Choo Hopes To Play In 2021]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=248953 2020-09-26T20:44:12Z 2020-09-26T20:35:00Z
  • Rangers designated hitter Shin-soo Choo is hoping to play in 2021, per MLB.com’s TR Sullivan (via Twitter). The 38-year-old is wrapping up a seven-year, $130MM deal with Texas. A longtime productive hitter, Choo has taken a big step back offensively this season as he nears free agency. He’s amassed just a .229/.317/.394 line. It’s the first year Choo has been below-average at the dish since he established himself as an everyday player back in 2008.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Hunter Pence Announces Retirement]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=248975 2020-09-26T19:52:07Z 2020-09-26T18:54:54Z Longtime big league outfielder Hunter Pence announced he’s retiring from baseball (Twitter link). This brings to an end a fourteen-year career spent with four teams, although he’ll surely be remembered most for his time with the Giants.

    Pence originally broke into pro ball in 2004, selected by the Astros in the second round out of the University of Texas-Arlington. Notably “awkward and unorthodox” as a prospect, in the words of Baseball America, Pence nevertheless played himself into top prospect status by 2007. He broke into the big leagues with a bang, hitting .322/.360/.539 en route to a third place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year voting that season. Pence continually produced over his time in Houston, earning his first two All-Star nods there, before the struggling Astros shipped him off to the Phillies at the 2011 trade deadline for four prospects.

    He continued to perform well in Philadelphia, hitting .289/.357/.486 over parts of two seasons, but the Phillies lost in the Division Series in 2011 and were en route to a playoff miss in 2012. Pence again headlined a deadline deal, this one sending him to San Francisco. His midseason acquirer fared much better the second time around, as the Giants erased a pair of big playoff deficits against the Reds and Cardinals before sweeping the Tigers in the 2012 World Series.

    Set to reach free agency after the 2013 season, Pence instead re-upped with the Giants that September. Already a highly productive and popular player, that extension set the stage for Pence to become permanently identified with the San Francisco organization. He combined for a .280/.335/.464 line between 2013-14, garnering down ballot MVP support each year. He was perhaps even more instrumental in the Giants’ 2014 World Series run than he’d been in 2012, going 12-27 with a home run in San Francisco’s seven-game triumph over the Royals.

    Of course, it wasn’t simply Pence’s productivity that made him so revered, both among diehard Giants’ loyalists and many baseball fans generally. He played with an endearing energy and exuberance. Coupled with his oft-awkward hitting mechanics and general lack of gracefulness on the diamond, Pence brought something of an everyman feel to the sport that resonated with outside observers, teammates and coaches.

    Unfortunately, that high-energy style of play caught up to him in his 30’s. After 2014, Pence only once again managed to exceed 110 games in a season. He continued to produce when healthy up through 2016, but he seemingly hit a wall thereafter. Pence struggled through a pair of poor years with the 2017-18 Giants, seemingly ending his time with the organization (and putting his career in jeopardy).

    Forced to settle for a minor-league deal with his hometown Rangers entering 2019, Pence remade his swing at age 36. He rebounded to post a .297/.358/.552 line over 316 plate appearances in Texas last year, picking up his fourth and final All-Star trip in the process. That also inspired the Giants to offer a major league deal last winter, setting the stage for a tremendous return story.

    Unfortunately, that was not to be. Pence got off to an abysmal start and was released after just 56 plate appearances. That’ll mark his last work in the big leagues, although it’s fitting that his final games came in the orange and black.

    All told, Pence will hang up the spikes with a .279/.334/.461 line over 7006 plate appearances, good for a 115 wRC+. He hit 244 home runs, 324 doubles and 55 triples, while stealing 120 bases. Pence was worth around 31 wins above replacement, in the estimation of both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference. He’s obviously most notable for being an integral part of two World Series winners in San Francisco and for the infectious joy he spread to teammates and fans alike. MLBTR congratulates Pence on a stellar career and wishes him the best in retirement.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jonathan Hernandez Wants To Stay In Bullpen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=248757 2020-09-26T00:18:46Z 2020-09-26T00:18:46Z
  • The Rangers will be looking for starters in the offseason, especially if they trade Lance Lynn, but it doesn’t appear reliever Jonathan Hernandez will fill any voids in their rotation in 2021. Hernandez informed the Rangers that he’d rather stay in the bullpen next year than transition to a starting role, TR Sullivan of MLB.com tweets. The rookie Hernandez has been one of the main bright spots this season for Texas, with which the 24-year-old has posted a 2.51 ERA/2.49 FIP and registered 9.42 K/9 against 1.57 BB/9 across 28 2/3 innings. Hernandez has averaged almost 98 mph on his fastball along the way.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Designate Nick Goody, Select Andrew Romine]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=248428 2020-09-24T22:58:28Z 2020-09-24T22:51:42Z The Rangers have designated right-hander Nick Goody for assignment and selected infielder Andrew Romine, the team announced.

    Goody, whom the Rangers claimed from the Indians last winter, has posted a couple of respectable seasons since he debuted in 2015 with the Yankees. He logged a 3.54 ERA/4.62 FIP with 11.07 K/9 and 4.87 BB/9 over 40 2/3 innings in Cleveland in 2019, for instance, but wasn’t able to keep that momentum going this year in Texas. As a Ranger in 2020, the 29-year-old Goody allowed 12 runs (11 earned) on 14 hits and totaled 13 strikeouts against eight walks over 11 frames.

    Romine, 34, signed a minors pact with the Rangers on Sept. 15. The former Angel, Tiger and Mariner has amassed 1,323 major league plate appearances, but he has hit just .235/.291/.301 and hasn’t seen action in the bigs since 2018.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mets Release Yefry Ramirez, Trade Stephen Villines To Rangers]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=246909 2020-09-20T17:08:36Z 2020-09-20T16:49:17Z The Mets announced a pair of transactions, including the news that right-hander Yefry Ramirez has been released.  New York also completed the August 5 trade with the Rangers that brought Ariel Jurado to Citi Field, as right-hander Steve Villines was sent to Texas as the player to be named later.

    Ramirez signed a minor league deal with the Mets over the offseason and was part of the team’s 60-man player pool, though he never received a call-up from the alternate training site.  The 26-year-old righty has a 6.32 ERA, 1.71 K/BB rate, and 8.9 K/9 over 89 2/3 career innings in the big leagues, all with Orioles and Pirates from 2018-19.  Originally an international signing for the Diamondbacks in 2011, the 26-year-old Ramirez has posted some solid numbers over 605 minor league innings (3.57 ERA, 2.96 K/BB, 9.1 K/9), starting 103 of his 137 games.

    Villines was a 10th-round pick for the Mets in the 2017 draft, and has worked exclusively as a reliever over 155 career innings in New York’s farm system.  He wasn’t a top-30 prospect for the Mets nor a member of their 60-man player pool, though the 25-year-old’s unconventional sidearm-esque delivery has some outstanding minor league numbers — a 2.67 ERA, 5.31 K/BB rate, and an 11.1 K/9 over 155 innings.  That dominance didn’t translate to 16 Triple-A innings last season, as Villines posted a 6.75 ERA over that admittedly small sample size.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers’ Ricky Vanasco To Undergo Tommy John Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=246085 2020-09-18T16:50:16Z 2020-09-18T16:50:16Z Rangers pitching prospect Ricky Vanasco will undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow next week, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan tweets. The timing of the surgery will likely wipe out all of Vanasco’s 2021 season.

    It’s a tough blow to what was already regarded as a rather thin farm system. Vanasco, 22 next month, ranked as the Rangers’ No. 13 prospect at Baseball America, also placing 18th at MLB.com and 24th at FanGraphs. BA’s report on the hard-throwing young righty noted that he sits mid-90s with a heater that has touched 99 mph, in addition to displaying good feel for spinning his curveball. FanGraphs noted some trepidation about his “extremely violent” delivery but called him a potential high-leverage reliever.

    Vanasco was a 15th-round pick in 2017 but turned heads last year when he pitched to a combined 1.81 ERA with a 75-to-25 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings (11 total appearances — all starts). He’d likely have ascended to Double-A in 2020 under circumstances, but spent the season working out at the alternate training site in the absence of a minor league campaign. As such, Vanasco wasn’t completely deprived of developmental work in 2020, but it’s nevertheless still a notable setback in the promising young righty’s path to big league readiness that he’ll go two years without pitching in a truly competitive setting.