WEDNESDAY: Blake now announces that Murphy rejected an outright assignment and has been placed on unconditional release waivers (Twitter link).
MONDAY: Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake has announced a series of roster moves (on Twitter): Texas will recall right-hander Roman Mendez and purchase the contract of outfielder Jake Smolinski from Triple-A Round Rock, with Michael Choice being optioned to Round Rock and Donnie Murphy being designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Murphy, 31, batted .196/.268/.330 in 128 plate appearances for the Rangers this season — a far cry from the .255/.319/.530 batting line and career-high 11 homers he produced for the Cubs in 2013. The nine-year MLB veteran has career experience at all four infield positions, though his experience at first base is extremely limited.
The 24-year-old Choice — a consensus Top 100 prospect the Rangers landed from the A’s in the offseason’s Craig Gentry trade — struggled mightily in his first extended taste of big league action. Choice batted .177/.247/.318 with eight homers, but he has an outstanding minor league track record — a .290/.376/.482 batting line.
Smolinski has a career .259/.345/.407 batting line in 103 games at the Triple-A level. The 2007 second-rounder signed as a minor league free agent this offseason after failing to make the Majors with either the Nationals (who drafted him) or the Marlins (who acquired him in the 2008 Josh Willingham trade). Mendez, 23, had a 4.02 ERA with a 30-to-12 K/BB ratio this season with Round Rock –his first experience at the Triple-A level.