The Rangers announced on Tuesday that they’ve claimed lefty reliever David Rollins off waivers from the Cubs. Chicago had claimed Rollins off waivers from the Mariners last week and unsuccessfully attempted to sneak him through waivers.
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The claim by Texas is a mild surprise, as the Rangers passed on claiming Rollins last week when the lefty fell to the Cubs in waiver priority. However, the Rangers now have a clearer picture of their 40-man roster after making some determinations in advance of the Rule 5 Draft. Texas may yet attempt to sneak Rollins through waivers themselves in similar fashion, though that’s just speculation on my behalf.
The 26-year-old Rollins (27 next month) is a former Rule 5 pick himself. Seattle selected him out of the Astros organization back in 2014, and Rollins wound up receiving an 80-game PED suspension before he threw a pitch for the Mariners during the regular season. In a bizarre way, that helped the Mariners keep him in the organization, though their selection of Rollins ultimately never paid dividends anyhow. The former 24th-round pick has a 7.60 ERA in 34 innings with the Mariners across the past two seasons and has averaged 7.1 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 with a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s been rather unlucky, as evidenced by a .379 BABIP, but even the most optimistic ERA estimator pegs him in the mid-4.00s (4.41 SIERA). Rollins does have minor league options remaining, so if he’s able to survive the offseason on Texas’ 40-man roster, the team could option him and use him as a depth piece in the ’pen next year.