The Rangers have released veteran outfielder Brad Hawpe, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). Hawpe signed a minor league deal with the Rangers in January that would've paid him $1MM had he made the roster. By releasing Hawpe now, Texas avoids paying him a $100K bonus as a six-year veteran.
Hawpe's chances of making the Texas roster were slim given that the Rangers are in need of a right-handed hitting outfielder and Hawpe is both a lefty bat and hasn't been able to throw from the outfield due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Still, Hawpe hit well in limited action during the spring (a .849 OPS in 23 at-bats) and has a decent chance of catching on with another team if he can prove he's healthy. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reports the Rangers have invited Hawpe to return if he can't find a Major League job elsewhere.