Texas Rangers Rumors

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

Rosenthal’s Latest: Lester, De La Rosa, Rangers, Padres

The Red Sox would like to re-open negotiations with Jon Lester, but it may not be in the player’s best interest according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in his latest video. Based on where negotiations left off, a large gap exists between club and player. It’s unlikely the two parties could bridge the difference in a short period of time. Says Rosenthal, Lester would like to avoid being labelled as selfish, a distraction, or a mercenary, all of which could result from rejecting an offer mid-season. If the Red Sox trade Lester, then they may shut the door on re-signing him. Many players treat a trade as a “sign of rejection.”


Minor Moves: Komatsu, Santos, Snyder, Bernadina, McCutchen, Diaz, Camp, Canzler, Hanson

Here are the latest minor moves from around the league…

  • Outfielder Erik Komatsu has signed with the Brewers, reports Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via Twitter). Komatsu, 26, started out with Milwaukee but was dealt to the Nationals in 2011 in a summer deal for Jerry Hairston. He was then taken in the Rule 5 draft, and saw brief time with both the Cardinals and Twins, before being returned to D.C. After being released by the Nats earlier this year, Komatsu had a brief stint with the Angels but was apparently released again.
  • The Pirates have traded outfielder Adalberto Santos to the Giants, according to the PCL transactions page. Santos, 26, was off to a rough .186/.234/.256 start in 47 plate appearances at Triple-A after performing well at each prevous level in the minors.
  • First baseman/outfielder Brad Snyder has elected free agency rather than accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock from the Rangers, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (via Twitter). The 32-year-old Snyder was designated for assignment earlier this week when Texas purchased the contract of fellow first baseman Carlos Pena from Round Rock. Snyder, a converted outfielder, was relatively new to first base, but all 10 games in which he appeared with the Rangers this season came as a first baseman. In those 10 contests, Snyder slashed .167/.265/.400 and blasted a pair of homers in 34 trips to the plate. The first-round pick has demolished Triple-A pitching in his minor league career but never received an extended look in the Majors.
  • Outfielder Roger Bernadina has refused an outright assignment from the Reds and elected free agency, reports C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). The 30-year-old has been unable to regain the form he showed in 2012 with the Nationals (.291/.372/.405 with 15 steals in 261 plate appearances). He split last year between Washington and Philadelphia before inking a minor league deal with Cincinnati. In 71 plate appearances, Bernadina scuffled to a .153/.286/.203 line.
  • The White Sox have inked righty Daniel McCutchen to a minor league deal, Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports on Twitter. McCutchen, a 31-year-old righty, saw significant time in the Pirates pen over 2009-11 but has only appeared in two MLB contests since (including one with the Rangers this year). He had a 7.05 ERA and 8.1 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 over 60 innings (including eight starts) at Triple-A with Texas.
  • The Blue Jays have outrighted infielder Jonathan Diaz, according to the International League transactions page. Diaz, 29, put up a .158/.256/.184 line in 45 plate appearances with Toronto, his only MLB action other than a cup of coffee last year with the Red Sox.
  • Also according to the International League transactions page, the Phillies have released reliever Shawn Camp. The 38-year-old righty appeared in three games earlier in the year before being outrighted, electing free agency, and re-signing with Philadelphia. He currently owns a respectable 3.79 ERA through 19 innings in the minors, with 7.6 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.
  • The Phillies have signed Russ Canzler to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, per the team’s transactions page at MLB.com. Canzler, who debuted for the IronPigs yesterday, spent the early portion of the season with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. He’s a career .276/.355/.457 hitter in Triple-A and has 102 career MLB plate appearances between the Rays and Indians.
  • The Angels have signed independent league right-hander Ray Hanson, per the club’s transactions page. The 6’7″, 235-pound Hanson has pitched very well in both the Frontier League and the United League, posting a 3.59 ERA with a strong 129-to-40 K/BB ratio in 125 1/3 innings. Hanson, 24, made his affiliated debut yesterday with the Halos’ Class-A Advanced club and fired five shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.


AL West Notes: Correa, Holland, Shoemaker, Otero

Top Astros prospect Carlos Correa will miss the rest of the year after undergoing surgery on a broken fibula, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle“The surgery went very well,” said GM Jeff Luhnow. “We expect him to go through a rehab process and return to exactly the point he was at when he got injured.” The 19-year-old shortstop had been close to earning a promotion to Double-A, says Drellich. He owns a robust .325/.416/.510 triple-slash with six long balls and 20 stolen bases in his first 293 plate appearances at the High-A level.

As Astros fans deal with this tough news, here are a few more notes from the AL West…

  • Rangers lefty Derek Holland will have his minor league rehab assignment pushed back, reports Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. Holland participated in fielding drills today but wasn’t ready to progress to pitching in games, manager Ron Washington tells Fraley. GM Jon Daniels tells Fraley that the club hasn’t given consideration to shutting Holland down for the season at any point and won’t do so unless there’s significant risk that he could re-injure his problematic knee.
  • Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports looks at the journey of Matt Shoemaker from undrafted college arm to Angels starting pitcher. After Shoemaker went undrafted, his college coach called Major League teams to tell them that they missed a prospect, and he eventually signed with Anaheim for a modest $10K bonus. Brown’s story also chronicles Shoemaker’s journey and his close relationship with his father and the work the pair put into baseball throughout Shoemaker’s childhood.
  • Dan Otero has gone from unheralded waiver claim to one of the most valuable relievers in the league, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Assistant GM David Forst — the driving force behind acquiring Otero — tells Slusser that Otero’s command attracted the A’s. Scout John McLaren gave a strong review of Otero after seeing him pitch with the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate. When Otero was waived by the Giants, the Yankees claimed him and tried to sneak him through waivers, only to lose him to the A’s the next day. Since that time, Otero has posted a 1.79 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate north of 57 percent.

Jeff Todd contributed to this post.



Minor Moves: DePaula, Exposito, Snyder, Smith

Here are the day’s minor moves…

  • Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that the Orioles have signed right-hander Julio DePaula to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Bowie (Twitter link). The 31-year-old hasn’t appeared in the bigs since a 2007 stint with the Twins. He’s bounced around since that time, appearing at Triple-A, pitching in the Korea Baseball Organization and also pitching in independent ball. This season, he had a 2.48 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 29 innings with the Atlantic League’s York Revolution.
  • The Athletics have signed catcher Luis Exposito to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Sacramento, tweets Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com. Exposito, 27, spent time with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate earlier this season, hitting .177/.252/.313 with three homers in 107 PA. The longtime Red Sox farmhand is a career .260/.317/.408 hitter in the minors and appeared briefly in the Major Leagues with the Orioles in 2011.
  • After being designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday, outfielder/first baseman Brad Snyder has cleared waivers, reports Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest (via Twitter). The 32-year-old is still deciding whether or not to accept his assignment or instead become a free agent.
  • The Padres have signed righty Chris Smith away from the indy league Sugar Land Skeeters, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). Smith, 33, threw 67 2/3 MLB innings between 2008-09, and last played in the minors in 2011. But he has tossed 50 1/3 frames of 2.13 ERA ball for the Skeeters, with 9.8 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Trade Deadline Notes: Colon, McCarthy, Phils, Angels, Mariners, White Sox

In an Insider piece yesterday, ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden listed 21 hitters who could change hands over the trade deadline and handicapped their odds of doing so. Bowden says it is 50/50 whether the following players are dealt: Daniel Murphy, Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham, Seth Smith, and Gerardo Parra. He puts better than even money on Chris Carter of the Astros (60%), Alex Rios of the Rangers (65%), and Ben Zobrist of the Rays (70%) landing in new uniforms.

Here’s the latest trade deadline chatter …

  • Though he has increased his value with a recent string of outstanding starts, Mets hurler Bartolo Colon is not likely to be dealt, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. The club is disinclined to sell, says Martino, and expects to have plenty of need for the veteran next year — even with the expected return of Matt Harvey and rise of younger arms.
  • Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks could be the ideal buy-low starting pitching  target, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. While McCarthy’s results have not been encouraging (5.38 ERA), the opposite holds true of his peripherals (80:18 K:BB ratio, 56% groundball rate). In large part, McCarthy has been hurt by a bloated home run rate and batting average on balls in play. The righty could prove a bargain, says Nicholson-Smith, because he won’t require a major prospect return and Arizona may even need to pay part of his $9MM salary.
  • The Phillies may ultimately decide to part with some veterans, but David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News questions whether they will get much in return. Marlon Byrd has a lower OPS and less home runs — and is owed a lot more money — than was the case last year when he was dealt for a less-than-overwhelming return. John Mayberry Jr. has been on the block for some time, and his hot start does not mean he’ll suddenly bring back a haul. And even Cliff Lee is not nearly as valuable as one might think, says Murphy, owing to his significant remaining guarantee and current arm issues.
  • We heard recently that the Angels were looking to add a lefty and perhaps a closer to their bullpen. According to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez and Matthew DeFranks, the club has or will look into Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit of the Padres, Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo of the Phillies, and Jim Johnson of the Athletics“There are pieces here that are very functional in getting to a good bullpen, and I believe that we’ll get there,” said GM Jerry Dipoto. “But we are going to have to address some of that in July and help this group out.”
  • Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said yesterday that he would be surprised if the club did not swing at least one deal in advance of the trade deadline, in an appearance on 1090 The Fan’s Steve Sandmeyer Show (Twitter links via co-host Jason Churchill). The club’s head baseball decisionmaker also left the impression that the club will be able to achieve some payroll flexibility in weighing acquisitions.
  • One club with whom the Mariners are “expected to talk” is the White Sox, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Some or all of Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, and Dayan Viciedo could hold appeal to Seattle, Morosi suggests. Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com tweets that the M’s, who have scouted the South Siders recently, are intrigued by Ramirez and have had targeted Viciedo in the past.

Rangers Designate Brad Snyder For Assignment

The Rangers have designated outfielder/first baseman Brad Snyder for assignment, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). His roster spot will be taken by Carlos Pena, whose contract was purchased.

Snyder, 32, has only seen 71 MLB plate appearances in his career, just under half of which came this year with the Rangers. He was a first-round pick of the Indians back in 2003, and once figured as a top-100 prospect, but has largely stalled out at the upper minors. In parts of eight seasons at Triple-A, he owns a .288/.351/.507 triple-slash.

Pena, meanwhile, makes an interesting return to the club with which he debuted back in 2001. The first baseman, now 36, was dealt away to Oakland after just 72 plate appearances with the Rangers and ultimately played 12 seasons with numerous other clubs before making his return. His career line stands at .233/.348/.465.


Cafardo’s Latest: Morales, D’Backs, Kemp

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe has lots of hot stove information to share in his latest Sunday Notes column

  • Kendrys Morales has already become a positive clubhouse figure in his short time with the Twins and Cafardo wouldn’t be surprised to see Minnesota try to extend the slugger.  It’s also possible the Twins could deal Morales before the deadline and then re-sign him as a free agent this winter.
  • The Diamondbacks seem willing to listen about trade offers for any player except Paul Goldschmidt, Cafardo notes.  Martin Prado could be an attractive trade chip, though possible trade candidates like Bronson Arroyo and Mark Trumbo might not have enough time before the deadline to show that they’re healthy.  “We’re meeting on it.  Figures we are sellers, not buyers,” D’Backs chief baseball officer Tony La Russa said.
  • The Red Sox “spent significant time watching Matt Kemp last week,” though Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told Cafardo that Kemp isn’t being traded.  Kemp’s recent hot streak has “reinforced” his value to Colletti given the dearth of right-handed power options around the game.
  • The Nationals could make Danny Espinosa available to second base-needy teams like the Giants or Blue Jays once Bryce Harper returns from the DL.  With Harper back in the outfield, Washington would use Ryan Zimmerman at third and Anthony Rendon at second, leaving Espinosa without a regular job.  Given Zimmerman’s shoulder problems and questionable future as a third baseman, however, I’d tend to think that the Nats would keep Espinosa as a valuable depth piece.
  • Phillies outfielders Marlon Byrd and Ben Revere appear to be available, as Cafardo adds them to the long list of notable Philadelphia players who could be trade targets before the deadline.
  • Red Sox catching prospect Christian Vazquez would be the top ask for any team looking to make a major trade with Boston.  “That would be across the board, even for a major hitter. He’s major league-ready right now offensively and defensively,” a scout tells Cafardo.  “We also think he’ll hit for some power in the majors. Because they have Blake Swihart, who a lot of teams will ask for as well, they probably would reluctantly give up Vazquez.”  This same scout, however, says that between the two young catchers, he would keep Swihart.
  • While Nate Schierholtz has only hit .207/.261/.313 in 249 PA this season, the Cubs will likely still trade the outfielder.  Schierholtz is only signed through the end of the season and he is owed approximately $2.78MM in remaining salary.
  • The Padres “would like to conduct a fire sale” and Chris Denorfia, Chase Headley, Carlos Quentin and Seth Smith could all be available.  Cafardo notes that Smith would be a good fit in the Red Sox outfield.
  • Several teams are interested in Grady Sizemore, who one scout feels will perform better now that he has had time to get re-accustomed to playing.  “Whoever gets him next will probably get a better player than what Boston had. He needed more time, and with that problem offensively up there they [the Red Sox] couldn’t wait,” the scout said.
  • The Blue Jays, Cubs, Marlins, Phillies and Rangers have been the teams who have been most aggressively scouting the major and minor league rosters of other clubs, Cafardo reports.

Rangers Claim Justin Marks

The Athletics have announced (on Twitter) that left-hander Justin Marks has been claimed off waivers by the Rangers. The removal of Marks from Oakland’s 40-man roster should clear a spot for the recently acquired Brad Mills, who is scheduled to start for the A’s tonight.

The A’s acquired Marks from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations earlier this month. Oakland originally drafted the southpaw in the third round of the 2009 draft but sent him to Kansas City in the 2011 David DeJesus trade.

Marks fired 3 2/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Sacramento in his brief return to the A’s organization and has a 5.03 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 34 Triple-A innings this season. The 26-year-old made his big league debut with the Royals this season, allowing three runs on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings of work.


Draft Signings: Brown, Benjamin, Dickey

Here are Thursday’s notable mid- to late-round draft signings, with all slot info coming courtesy of Baseball America

  • No. 81 overall pick Aaron Brown received an over-slot $750K bonus to sign with the Phillies, reports MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo (on Twitter). Brown, who has already begun his pro career with Short-Season Class-A Williamsport, was a two-way star at Pepperdine, playing both center field and pitching in their rotation. Philly selected him as an outfielder. Brown ranked 89th on BA’s Top 500 and 120th on Mayo’s Top 200. The slot value for the No. 81 overall selection was $682,500.
  • The Rangers saved about $180K by inking fifth-rounder Wes Benjamin to an under-slot, $125K bonus, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link). The Kansas left-hander was up to 94 mph prior to Tommy John surgery in April, Callis notes. BA noted that the Jayhawks southpaw was moving up draft boards prior to his injury and still ranked him 371st in the draft.
  • Callis also tweets that Nationals fourth-rounder Robbie Dickey agreed to a $400K bonus that’s about $16K under slot. A 6’3″, 205-pound right-hander out of Blinn Community College in Texas, ranked 179th on MLB.com’s Top 200 and 210th on BA’s Top 500. Callis and Mayo note that Dickey turned heads last fall as a reliever, sitting 95-97 mph with his fastball and showing a solid slider and changeup. He dealt with biceps tendinitis this spring though and saw his velocity dip while his slider lost some of its bite.

AL West Notes: Beltre, Rangers, Morales, Astros, Mills

While the Rangers find themselves at least facing the unexpected possibility that they will be sellers in July, GM Jon Daniels tells Jon Heyman of CBS Sports that the team isn’t thinking of trading Adrian Beltre“We haven’t really considered it,” Daniels said when asked. “He’s our best player, team leader, Hall of Famer.” More from Heyman’s article and more on the AL West below…

  • Beltre’s future aside, Heyman writes that the Rangers will have to look hard at dealing veteran pieces such as Joakim Soria, Alex Rios and even Elvis Andrus as they look to retool for the future in what has become a lost year due to injuries. However, Daniels says that his team isn’t giving up on 2014 yet, and it would take a “compelling baseball deal” to move one of the Rangers’ core players.
  • Heyman also sheds some light on the Rangers‘ pursuit of Kendrys Morales. Texas made just a $3MM offer to agent Scott Boras to secure Morales’ services, only to be outbid by a Twins team that offered $12MM pro-rated. Shortly thereafter, the Rangers saw another first base/DH option go down with an injury, as Mitch Moreland suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
  • The Houston Chronicle’s Evan Drellich looks at the oddity of service time by pointing out that Astros right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, who has never pitched an inning in the Major Leagues, is closer to free agency and has more service time than standout rookie George Springer. Wojciechowski was added to the 40-man roster this offseason and injured himself on Feb. 1, long before Spring Training was underway and players could be demoted to the minors. Because injured players cannot be demote to the minors — otherwise teams could demote injured players to save countless dollars — Wojciechowski has been on the Major League 15-day DL all season, earning service time and a $500K salary.
  • The Athletics were keeping tabs on lefty Brad Mills for awhile before acquiring him from the Brewers, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team has little starting pitching depth and was aware of the opt-out in Mills’ contract. Of being acquired in exchange for $1 (yes, one dollar), Mills told Slusser: “I thought it was a joke at first. I try not to take it as a value judgment on my worth. Whatever they had to do to make it work.”