Texas Rangers Rumors

Texas Rangers trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Minor Moves: Florimon, Peguero, Adrianza, Tracy

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • Reds pitcher Raisel Iglesias will make his major league debut tomorrow, writes Jason Haddix for MLB.com. He’ll be opposed by Cardinals hurler Carlos Martinez. The Reds committed to a seven-year, $27MM contract with Iglesias during the 2014 season.
  • The Orioles selected the contract of knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa, writes Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Wesley Wright was added to the disabled list in a corresponding move. Gamboa, 30, had yet to reach the majors although he figures to bounce back and forth this year. He’ll serve as depth in case Kevin Gausman is needed in long relief in the next couple games.
  • Pirates utility man Pedro Florimon has cleared waivers, tweets Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He has been outrighted to Triple-A. Per Brink (also Twitter), since Florimon has been outrighted before, he can decline and become a free agent. Brink is told no decision has been made.
  • The Rangers have announced that they’ve selected the contract of corner outfielder Carlos Peguero and recalled pitcher Jon Edwards. They’ve also moved Derek Holland (shoulder) to the 60-day disabled list and Ryan Rua (ankle) to the 15-day disabled list. Peguero is in the Rangers’ lineup tonight. The 28-year-old Peguero has played briefly, and not particularly impressively, for the Mariners and Royals in parts of four big-league seasons, but he’s demonstrated serious power in the minors (with 30 homers for Triple-A Omaha last year) and in Spring Training.
  • The Giants have outrighted infielder Ehire Adrianza to Triple-A Sacramento, MLB.com’s Chris Haft tweets. The team designated Adrianza for assignment last week. Adrianza, 25, hit .237/.279/.299 in 106 plate appearances while playing mostly shortstop and second base for the Giants last season.
  • The Yankees have announced that they’ve promoted lefty Matt Tracy. To clear space for Tracy on the 25- and 40-man rosters, the Yankees optioned lefty Chasen Shreve to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and moved Ivan Nova to the 60-day disabled list. Tracy will need to be added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster. Tracy’s stay on the roster could turn out to be short, however — the Yankees can use some quick bullpen reinforcements after their 19-inning game against the Red Sox last night, and Tracy would presumably join the team for that purpose. The 26-year-old posted a 3.76 ERA with 5.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 150 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last year.
  • Two players remain in DFA limbo, via MLBTR’s DFA Tracker: lefty Sam Freeman (Rangers) and outfielder Carlos Quentin (Braves).

Rangers Claim Stolmy Pimentel

The Rangers have announced that they’ve claimed righty Stolmy Pimentel from the Pirates. To clear space on their 40-man roster, the Rangers have transferred Lisalverto Bonilla to the 60-day disabled list. The Bucs designated Pimentel for assignment last week.

The 25-year-old Pimentel is out of options, so he’ll join the injury-ravaged Rangers’ 25-man roster, with a forthcoming move yet to be announced. He has strikeout stuff, with a good fastball and 10.5 K/9 in the Pirates’ bullpen last season, but he also walked 16 batters in 32 2/3 innings and posted a 5.23 ERA. He was mostly a starter throughout his minor-league career (which included several stops with the Red Sox before he headed to Pittsburgh in the Joel Hanrahan deal), but it might be hard for him to develop as a starter without being able to head back to the minors first.


Rosenthal On Napoli, Dodgers, Rangers

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a pair of videos from FOX Sports:

  • It’s “difficult to imagineJosh Hamilton will play for the Angels again given the team’s current dispute with him, Rosenthal says.
  • Mike Napoli of the Red Sox had an insurance policy that would have paid him a tax-free $10MM if he had failed to meet certain salary thresholds. Because he collected $8MM in incentives on his contract with the Red Sox in 2013, however, he did not need to file a claim.
  • With the addition of a Competitive Balance pick in their trade for Ryan Webb, the Dodgers now hold four of the first 74 picks of the draft in June, including one they got as compensation for losing Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers will pick at No. 24, No. 35, No. 67 and No. 74.
  • The Rangers could be trade-deadline sellers, but they don’t have much to deal besides Yovani Gallardo, Rosenthal says. They don’t have enough middle-infield depth to trade Elvis Andrus unless they get another shortstop back.


Possible Qualifying Offer Players Who Could Be Dealt

Next year’s free agent market contains plenty of players who could receive qualifying offers — David Price, Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Heyward, and others. Here’s a look at potential qualifying offer recipients who have the best chance of being traded this season, thus preventing them from receiving that designation.

At issue, of course, is draft pick compensation and forfeiture. A team extending a qualifying offer to a player receives a draft pick in return if the player signs elsewhere. The signing team also gives up a draft pick. But a player who has been traded in the season before he becomes a free agent can’t be extended a qualifying offer and thus isn’t attached to draft picks. That can be an important consideration for teams shopping for free agents, as we’ve seen in recent years in the cases of Kyle Lohse, Nelson Cruz, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales, whose markets have all shrunk in part because of the qualifying offer.

Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, Reds. The Reds are off to a 4-0 start but still aren’t that likely to contend, which means that Cueto and Leake could hit the free agent market this summer. Trading Cueto, in particular, would be a great way for the Reds to add to their collection of young talent. Leake might be somewhat trickier to trade, since the Reds’ return might not be worth that much more than the draft pick and negotiating leverage they would forgo by dealing him.

Ben Zobrist and Scott Kazmir, Athletics. Billy Beane’s trade for Zobrist this offseason was a somewhat surprising one to begin with. The Athletics could easily contend, but if they don’t, Beane seems unlikely to sit still, and finding a new home for Zobrist wouldn’t be difficult given his versatility. Kazmir is another possibility — if he performs at his 2014 levels, he could receive a qualifying offer if the A’s contend or be traded if they don’t.

Alex Gordon, Royals. The Royals haven’t discussed an extension with Gordon, who would undoubtedly be an attractive trade target if the Royals were to fall out of contention in the AL Central. They’re currently 4-0, however, and there’s still the matter of Gordon’s $12.5MM option. Exercising it would likely not be an optimal financial decision from Gordon’s perspective, but he’s expressed interest in doing so before. If he were to make clear to the Royals that he planned to do so, he almost certainly wouldn’t be a trade candidate.

Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy, Padres. San Diego gambled heavily this offseason on the Padres’ ability to win in 2015. If they don’t, A.J. Preller doesn’t seem like the sort of GM to hang onto two key players who are due to become free agents. One possibility if the Padres were to trade Kennedy or especially Upton would be to acquire big-league talent in return, much like the Red Sox did when they dealt Jon Lester last summer. That would enable the Padres to re-tool for 2016, when they’ll still control most of the players they acquired over the winter.

Yovani Gallardo, Rangers. The Brewers exercised what was effectively a $12.4MM 2015 option ($13MM minus a $600K buyout) before trading Gallardo to Texas. His market value likely is somewhere near the value of a qualifying offer, and extending him one wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Rangers if he performs well this season. They could easily trade him rather than doing that, although that might be somewhat difficult given all the higher-impact starters who might be available and the value that would disappear if the ability to extend Gallardo a qualifying offer were to vanish.

Jeff Samardzija, White Sox. The new-look White Sox are 0-4, and GM Rick Hahn has said he will be “nimble” in turning his attention to the future if the organization’s moves to contend this summer don’t work out. That might mean Samardzija could be traded for the third time in a year. He would likely command significant value on the trade market.

Chris Davis and Matt Wieters, Orioles. Davis and Wieters are worth watching, although it’s somewhat unlikely that they’re valuable enough to receive qualifying offers and that they become trade candidates. Davis had a down season in 2014, while Wieters continues to struggle with health problems (and there’s currently no timetable for his return from an elbow injury). If Davis and Wieters are productive and healthy, the Orioles could well contend, and thus it’s unlikely they’ll be traded. If they aren’t, they might not be qualifying offer candidates.


Derek Holland To Be Shut Down For Four To Six Weeks

Rangers starter Derek Holland will not pick up a baseball for the next four to six weeks after being diagnosed with a sub-scapular strain, the club told reporters including Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter).

Holland left his start today after the first inning, continuing a nearly unimaginable string of pitching injuries for the club. Fortunately for Holland, surgery is not on the table, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. He’ll undergo a scan in a month, with the course of action determined from that point.

Texas did just sign veteran lefty Wandy Rodriguez to provide an additional option, and he figures to be the most likely candidate to join the big league rotation in the short term. Of course, the club may prefer not to begin paying out Rodriguez’s available incentives (which could reach $1.8MM), though his salary will be at the league-minimum rate.

Holland was not the only casualty in today’s action. The Rangers also saw outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Ryan Rua leave with injuries — back spasms and a sprained ankle, respectively — and could be left scrambling to fill in its lineup as well.


Rangers Claim Alex Hassan From Athletics

The Rangers have claimed outfielder Alex Hassan off waivers from the division-rival Athletics, Texas EVP of communications John Blake tweets. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-hander Matt Harrison has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

The 27-year-old Hassan has grown accustomed to changing uniforms over the past year, to say the least. Originally with the Red Sox, he was designated for assignment in November and claimed by the A’s, only to be designated and claimed by the Orioles just days later. Hassan believed he was Baltimore-bound until late February, when the Orioles designated him to make room for Everth Cabrera, and the A’s re-claimed him on waivers. Hassan again found himself on waivers after losing his 40-man spot to the recently signed Cody Ross, and he’ll hope to stick with a Rangers organization that is thin on quality outfield options at the moment.

That Hassan is so often claimed isn’t necessarily a surprise when considering the production he’s provided at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. The former 20th-round pick is a career .282/.387/.411 hitter in 1082 Triple-A plate appearances, and he’s never posted an OBP lower than .377 in a full Minor League season. Hassan has played both corner outfield spots and first base a fair amount, giving him some versatility to go along with that high-OBP approach and his history of strong batting averages. All told, Hassan has walked in nearly 14 percent of his Minor League plate appearances while striking out at a relatively low rate of 17.9 percent in the Minors.


Rangers Sign Wandy Rodriguez To Minor League Deal

9:04pm: Rodriguez will earn the pro-rated portion of the league minimum upon promotion to the Majors, but his contract also contains up to $1.8MM worth of incentives for games started, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter).

7:01pm: The Rangers announced that they’ve signed left-hander Wandy Rodriguez to a Minor League contract. The veteran southpaw will be assigned to Triple-A to begin his Rangers career.

Rodriguez, 36, made a name for himself in the Astros rotation beginning in 2008, and from that season through 2013, he worked to a combined 3.48 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 997 1/3 innings between Houston and Pittsburgh. He was in the mix for a rotation spot with the Braves in March but wasn’t able to lock down a spot despite enjoying an excellent spring. In 23 innings this spring, Rodriguez notched a 3.13 ERA (eight earned runs) on 22 hits and eight walks with 23 strikeouts.

The Rangers’ pitching woes have been well documented, with the most notable blow coming earlier this spring when they learned that ace Yu Darvish required Tommy John surgery. Additionally, former rotation cornerstone Matt Harrison‘s career is in jeopardy after a series of back injuries, and lefty Derek Holland missed much of the 2014 season due to knee troubles. The Rangers are currently relying on a rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Holland, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler and Nick Martinez — a questionable group whose ranks could eventually be cracked by a healthy Rodriguez.


Rangers Designate Sam Freeman For Assignment

The Rangers have announced they have designated left-hander Sam Freeman for assignment. The move, along with Yu Darvish being placed on the 60-day disabled list, opens 40-man roster spots for right-handers Anthony Bass and Keone Kela. With the Freeman DFA, the Rangers will enter the season without a left-hander in the bullpen.

The Rangers now have 10 days to either trade, release, or outright Freeman to the minors. Texas hopes Freeman clears waivers so he can be outrighted to Triple-A, reports MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.


Roster Moves: Hernandez, Enright, Robinson, Uggla, Ciriaco, Stults, Petit

Here’s a roundup of some 40-man roster news as teams decide who will break camp for Opening Day….

  • The Diamondbacks have announced (via Twitter) that Archie Bradley, Gerald Laird, and Jordan Pacheco have made the roster. Bradley, a top prospect, will join the rotation. Laird will serve as the backup catcher while Pacheco will probably take on a super utility role that includes some catching.
  • The Astros have selected the contract of Roberto Hernandez, per the MLB transactions page. The right-handed sinker specialist has a 4.60 ERA in 1,264 innings. He split the 2014 season between the Phillies and Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers have released right-handed pitcher Barry Enright, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Enright is a veteran of four major league seasons, although he struggled at the top level. He owns a 5.57 ERA, 4.60 K/9, and 3.15 BB/9 in 148 innings.
  • The Nationals will select the contract of outfielder Clint Robinson, reports Chelsea Janes of the Washington Times. Robinson, 30, is a career minor leaguer with just 14 major league plate appearances. In 1,771 Triple-A plate appearances, he’s hit .303/.392/.494. Janes also notes that the club is almost certain to retain second baseman Dan Uggla. He’s one of just five healthy infielders with the club.
  • The Blue Jays have opted to roster eight relievers for the start of the season with Liam Hendriks making the cut, writes Sean Farrell of MLB.com. The righty appeared for the Jays and Royals last season. He has a career 5.92 ERA in 188 innings. Second baseman Ryan Goins was optioned in a corresponding move.
  • Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that utility man Pedro Ciriaco and pitcher Cody Martin will probably make the team. Ciriaco is a career .270/.299/.372 hitter over 498 plate appearances split over five seasons. The pair were added at the expense of outfielder Todd Cunningham and pitcher Michael Foltynewicz.
  • Also making the Atlanta roster is pitcher Eric Stults, writes Bowman. The soft-tossing lefty has a solid big league career with a 4.12 ERA, 5.69 K/9, and 2.53 BB/9. His best season came with the Padres in 2013 when he pitched 203 innings with a 3.93 ERA.
  • The Yankees have selected the contract of infielder Gregorio Petit, reports Chad Jennings of LoHud. Petit, 30, is a career .278/.301/.391 hitter in 156 plate appearances.
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels says Anthony Bass will travel with the club to Oakland, reports Stefan Stevenson (via Twitter). He’ll make the team barring a last minute acquisition. The 27-year-old reliever struggled with the Astros last season. In 27 innings, he allowed a 6.33 ERA with 2.33 K/9 and 2.33 BB/9.
  • The Phillies have selected the contracts of right-handed reliever Jeanmar Gomez and left-handed reliever Cesar Jimenez, the team announced on Twitter. Gomez owns a career 4.41 ERA with 5.23 K/9 and 3.14 BB/9. He pitched well this spring in 12 and two-thirds innings, allowing a 0.71 ERA with nine strikeouts and one walk. Jimenez is familiar with the Phillies as he’s bounced between Philadelphia and Triple-A over the past two seasons. In 81 innings, he has a career 4.32 ERA with 6.09 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9.

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DBacks, Rangers Discussed Nuno Trade, No Deal Likely

The Diamondbacks scratched pitcher Vidal Nuno earlier today due to active trade talks, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported earlier today (via Twitter) that talks occurred with the Rangers but that no deal appeared likely. Finally, Zach Buchanan of AZ Central Sports confirmed on Twitter that “discussions went nowhere.”

Nuno, acquired last season for Brandon McCarthy, pitched well in 14 starts for the DBacks. He posted a 3.76 ERA with 7.42 K/9 and 2.15 BB/9. The lefty wasn’t as sharp with the Yankees prior to the trade. He has a career 4.31 ERA in 181 innings. He has since been optioned to Triple-A with news that prospect Andrew Chafin has made the major league bullpen.