The Rangers have acquired catcher Bobby Wilson from the Tigers, per club announcements. Going back to Detroit in the deal is southpaw Chad Bell. To clear roster space, Texas has designated fellow receiver Chris Gimenez for assignment.
With both organizations dealing with injuries behind the plate, the Rangers and Tigers have exchanged multiple backstops this season. Just before camp opened, Wilson went north as part of the package that brought Bryan Holaday to Texas.
Now, Wilson will return to the club he joined as a minor league free agent over the winter, joining Holaday — at least momentarily. As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explains, the team will have to decide whether to protect its depth and stick with that veteran duo, while optioning Brett Nicholas to Triple-A, or instead to keep Nicholas’s hot bat at the major league level. The latter approach would mean exposing Holaday to waivers, and he could well be claimed despite his tepid batting line.
Texas does still have Michael McKenry in the organization as well, and it remains to be seen whether Gimenez will end up at Triple-A. The 33-year-old Gimenez has been rehabbing from an ankle issue, and as Grant notes, doesn’t seem likely to be claimed given his $975K salary. He’d then have a chance to decline the assignment, but might stick around since he’d reportedly earn at an approximately $300K rate in the minors.
As for the Tigers, the return of James McCann made Wilson expendable. They’ll pick up the 27-year-old Bell in the deal. He’s worked in the rotation and the pen in his minor league career. Last season, he posted a 4.58 ERA in 141 1/3 Double-A frames with 7.5 K/9 vs. 2.7 BB/9. Bell is off to a nice start at Triple-A in 2016, though, with just three earned runs logged against him in 18 innings (split between two starts and three relief appearances). He has struck out 19 batters while issuing just five free passes.