12:25pm: Blanks will earn $1MM if he makes the big league roster, with an additional $600K of incentives based on plate appearances, reports ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
11:46am: The Rangers are set to sign first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks, reports Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (Twitter links). Blanks, a client of Sosnick/Cobbe Sports, will receive a split contract, meaning his deal calls for separate Major League and Minor League salaries, dependent on whether or not he makes the team.
Blanks, 28, was acquired by the Athletics from the Padres early in the 2014 season. He performed quite well in a limited sample of 56 plate appearances before a torn calf muscle cost him the remainder of the season. With the A’s, Blanks hit .333/.446/.489 with a pair of home runs.
Blanks looked to be a breakout candidate in 2009 as a 22-year-old. The towering slugger ranked 50th among prospects prior to that season, per Baseball America, and proceeded to hit .250/.355/.514 with 10 homers in 172 plate appearances that season. Blanks looked like a potential building block for San Diego at that point, but in four subsequent seasons, he batted just .223/.300/.375 in 624 PA.
A career .244/.342/.409 hitter against left-handed pitching, Blanks will present the Rangers with at worst a candidate to platoon at DH, first base and an outfield corner. The Rangers currently project to have Mitch Moreland handle most of the time at DH next season, and Moreland’s struggles against left-handed pitching have been well-documented.