The Rangers have signed left-handed reliever Cesar Ramos to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training, according to a tweet from Rangers executive vice president of communications John Blake.
Ramos, a client of the Wasserman Media Group, spent the 2015 season with the division-rival Angels and enjoyed a strong season out of the Halos’ bullpen but was surprisingly non-tendered in December. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected him to receive a $1.7MM salary, which the Angels clearly weren’t interested in paying despite the fact that Ramos logged a 2.75 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 47.1 percent ground-ball rate in 52 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old Ramos certainly didn’t dominate opponents, as lefties hit .265/.346/.316 against him last season, while righties batted .276/.324/.382. Ramos, though, does have a 3.49 ERA in 276 innings dating back to the 2011 season, giving him a solid track record. Interestingly, the Rangers’ release notes that Ramos will be stretched out to work as a starting pitcher rather than resuming his traditional bullpen role. Ramos did start seven games for the Rays in 2014, but just 10 of his 251 Major League appearances have been starts.