Texas Rangers Rumors
MONDAY: Kirkman was placed on outright waivers shortly after being designated for assignment, and the Rangers will learn tomorrow whether he has been claimed, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
FRIDAY: The Rangers have claimed backstop Chris Gimenez off of waivers from the Athletics, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). To create roster space, lefty Michael Kirkman was designated for assignment.
The 31-year-old Gimenez provides yet another depth option for a Texas club that just inked Chris Snyder after losing Geovany Soto to start the year. Gimenez most recently saw MLB time with the Rays, but has never stepped up to the plate more than 130 times in any of his five MLB stints. In Triple-A last year, Gimenez hit .224/.350/.305 in 375 plate appearances, though he had much better numbers (.310/.389/.483 in 301 plate appearances) the year prior.
Kirkman, 27, has failed to maintain his form consistently at the MLB level, going from a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings (2010) to a 6.59 ERA in 27 1/3 (2011), 3.82 ERA in 35 1/3 (2012), and finally to a 8.18 ERA in 22 innings last year. His peripherals reveal a struggle with throwing strikes, as he has struck out 8.9 per nine over his career but walked 4.8 batters for every nine frames thrown.
March 31: Contreras has officially been released by the club, according to the team's transactions page.
March 17: The Rangers have informed right-hander Jose Contreras that he will not make the club and offered him reassignment to their minor league camp, according to a team release. However, the press release also says that Contreras is weighing his options, including retiring as an active player.
Contreras, who turned 42 this offseason, signed a minor league deal with the Rangers after tossing just five big league innings in 2013. The Cuban veteran was solid in 29 minor league innings last year though, posting a 2.79 ERA with the Triple-A affiliates for the Pirates and Red Sox. He's struggled in Spring Training to this point, yielding seven runs on 13 hits in six innings of work.
In 1173 Major League innings, Contreras has a 4.57 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 with a record of 78 wins and 67 losses. He had a strong season as a member of the Phillies' bullpen in 2010 but hasn't pitched more than 14 innings in a season since that time. He's earned $67.5MM over the course of his Major League career, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The rosters for Opening Day were officialy submitted this afternoon. Several minor league signees have won jobs with their clubs and earned 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:
- The Rangers announced they have purchased the contract of infielder Josh Wilson. After designating Adam Rosales for assignment and placing catcher Geovany Soto on the 60-day disabled list, there remains one opening on the Rangers' 40-man roster.
- The Diamondbacks announced they have added right-hander Daniel Hudson to the 40-man roster and promptly placed him on the 15-day disabled list as he recovers from his second Tommy John surgery. The 27-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks last December.
- The Cubs announced they have purchased the contracts of right-hander Brian Schlitter and catcher John Baker and placed right-hander James McDonald on the 60-day disabled list. The Cubs' roster now stands at 40.
SUNDAY: The Rangers announced they have designated Rosales for assignment. The Rangers now have 10 days to trade, release, or outright Rosales to the minor leagues.
Readers of the site will remember seeing a similar headline on several recent occasions, as Rosales was DFA'd and claimed several times last year, moving between the Rangers and division-rival Athletics. The 30-year-old looked to be in better shape this time around after Texas gave him a $750K salary to avoid arbitration, but struggled to a .159/.208/.205 line with 15 strikeouts in 48 spring plate appearances.
Between now and Opening Day, several minor league signees will win jobs with their clubs and earn 40-man roster spots. Here are today's additions:
- The Angels have purchased the contract of infielder Ian Stewart, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The former top prospect, now 28, was brought in on a minor league contract in January.
- Ryan Rowland-Smith will make the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, GM Kevin Towers disclosed (via Steve Gilbert of MLB.com). Rowland-Smith was in camp on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010 but was excellent last year for Boston's Triple-A club.
- The Giants announced that right-hander J.C. Gutierrez and infielder Brandon Hicks have been chosen for the Opening Day roster. Hicks had been competing with rookie Ehire Adrianza for a backup infield job, but both have made the team.
- The Braves announced via press release that pitchers Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas have been added to the Opening Day roster.
- Reds manager Bryan Price announced that reliever Trevor Bell and outfielder Roger Bernadina have made the club's Opening Day roster, according to a tweet from the team's Triple-A affiliate. Bell hasn't pitched in the majors since 2011, but threw very well this spring in 8 2/3 innings.
- The Mets are set to add Omar Quintanilla to their Opening Day roster, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Quintanilla figures to serve as the back-up at short. He rejoined the club on a minor league deal after being non-tendered.
- Xavier Nady will break camp with the Padres, tweets AJ Cassavell of MLB.com, and thus will be added to the 40-man roster. The 35-year-old had a solid spring, and will fill in while Kyle Blanks and Cameron Maybin work back from injury.
- The Tigers have purchased the contract of Tyler Collins, the club announced. The 23-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder has not played above the Double-A level, but now grabs an Opening Day roster spot for a Detroit club that is without Andy Dirks to start the year. In 530 plate appearances at Double-A last year, Collins put up a .240/.323/.438 line with 21 home runs (and 122 strikeouts against 51 walks).
- The Rangers will add minor league free agent Daniel McCutchen to the roster, according to a tweet from his representatives at Sosnick Cobbe Sports. Texas will need to add the reliever to the 40-man roster in order to activate him.
- Yangervis Solarte will make the Yankees Opening Day roster, tweets Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Fellow utility infielder Eduardo Nunez, meanwhile, will be optioned to Triple-A to start the year. Solarte earned the position after a torrid spring.
- The Phillies have announced their Opening Day roster, which includes three players -- Tony Gwynn Jr., Mario Hollands, and Jeff Manship -- who must be added to the 40-man. Meanwhile, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has been put on the 60-day DL to create roster space while infielder Reid Brignac and reliever Shawn Camp have been reassigned to Triple-A, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (Twitter links).
- The Athletics have selected the contract of infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima and optioned him to Triple-A, according to the MLB transactions page. After failing to see MLB action in the first year of his two-year, $6.5MM deal with Oakland, Nakajima was outrighted and ultimately re-signed to a minor league deal.
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez has a torn UCL and may require Tommy John surgery, Hernandez's agent Jason Hoffman tells FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). Hernandez is getting a second opinion but if the original diagnosis is confirmed, the right-hander will miss the entire 2014 season. Since coming to Arizona in December 2010 as part of the Mark Reynolds trade, Hernandez has posted a 3.42 ERA, 3.17 K/BB and 10.8 K/9, though he struggled a bit last season due to an inflated home run rate. Losing Hernandez would further hurt the Arizona pitching staff, which also lost Patrick Corbin to an UCL tear earlier this month.
Here are some more notes about pitchers whose roster status is in question...
- Francisco Cordero has been told by the Red Sox that he isn't making the Opening Day roster, so the veteran reliever is now deciding whether to go to Triple-A Pawtucket or leave for another team, WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports. While Cordero doesn't officially have an opt-out clause in his minor league deal with the Sox, the two sides have an agreement that Cordero would be released if he finds a job elsewhere.
- Colby Lewis can opt out of his minor league deal with the Rangers on April 10, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Lewis was brought back on a minors contract after missing the entire 2013 season recovering from hip-resurfacing surgery, and the Rangers have been easing him back into action during Spring Training.
- If the Phillies are in need of another 40-man roster spot, GM Ruben Amaro said that Miguel Alfred Gonzalez could end up on the 60-day DL, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Gonzalez was officially placed on the 15-day DL (backdated to March 21) today due to tendinitis in his right shoulder.
Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers has not only made his team's rotation, but he'll be Texas' Opening Day starter after Yu Darvish injured his neck. Scheppers has never started a game in the big leagues, having appeared in 115 games in the past two seasons as a reliever. As Elias notes (via FOX Sports Southwest's Anthony Andro on Twitter), that's unusual -- the last pitcher to make his MLB starting debut on Opening Day was former Dodgers phenom Fernando Valenzuela, all the way back in 1981. Here are more notes from around the American League.
- GM Jon Daniels says he expects recently-claimed infielder Donnie Murphy to make the Rangers' Opening Day roster, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto says signing Joe Blanton was his fault, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweets. "It’s a mistake on my part, there's no one else to blame, I made the call on signing Joe," Dipoto says. The Angels released Blanton this week after he posted a 6.08 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 132 2/3 innings last season, then continued to struggle in spring training.
- Twins assistant GM Rob Antony says a lack of consistency was one reason his team traded pitcher Vance Worley to the Pirates, reports Quinn Roberts of MLB.com. "He didn't throw as hard as he did in the past and couldn't get the ball down. He couldn't change some of the things he knew he had to," says Antony. Worley, who struggled badly in 2013, was out of options, and the Twins outrighted him before trading him for cash considerations.
The Rangers have released pitcher Tommy Hanson, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The news comes as no surprise, with the Rangers recently setting their rotation with Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Joe Saunders and Nick Martinez. Hanson's contract called for him to receive $2MM guaranteed in the big leagues.
Hanson struggled last season with the Angels (posting a 5.42 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 73 innings) and followed that up with an uninspiring performance in Rangers camp. With the Angels, his average fastball velocity was 89.9 MPH, several miles per hour less than it was when during his successful early career with the Braves.
Rosin was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Mets from the Phillies, and then had his right shipped to Los Angeles. Now, the Rangers will become the third team to give him a look. The 25-year-old put up a 4.33 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 126 2/3 innings for the Phillies' Double-A affiliate in 2013.
Guerra, 28, spent time as the Dodgers closer in 2011, and has a lifetime 2.90 ERA in 102 1/3 MLB innings. But he fell out of favor in Los Angeles last year after posting a rough 6.75 ERA in 10 2/3 frames, and saw his chances at a pen slot evaporate as the team made several additions over the offseason.
The Rangers have reached agreement with pitcher Scott Baker, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). It is a minor-league deal, Heyman tweets. Baker's new deal will be worth up to $1MM at the big-league level and contains a May 1 opt-out date, MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets. if A deal was rumored to be close yesterday evening. Baker is represented by Octagon.
The Rangers recently set their rotation (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram on Twitter) with Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Joe Saunders and Nick Martinez), but Baker should add depth to a rotation that has struggled with injuries. Derek Holland will miss at least a chunk of the season, Yu Darvish is unable to make his Opening Day start, and Matt Harrison is out as well. Baker made three starts with the Cubs last season after missing the entire 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery. He was previously a longtime member of the Twins rotation.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.