The Rangers have outrighted right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen off the 40-man roster, per an announcement from executive VP of communications John Blake. Wilhelmsen declined the assignment after clearing waivers, making him a free agent.
The 32-year-old, who was acquired over the winter in the swap that sent Leonys Martin to the Mariners, has struggled badly in his first year in Texas. Over 21 1/3 innings, he has been torched for 25 earned runs on 38 hits, including seven long balls, while recording just 11 strikeouts against nine walks. Wilhelmsen’s swinging strike rate is down, but not by all that much. The real culprit is a huge amount of hard contact (39.1%).
In spite of his recent difficulties, Wilhelmsen ought to receive some attention as a free agent. He had a nice track record in Seattle, where he compiled a 2.97 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 over 312 1/3 innings from 2011 through 2015. Though his velocity is down a tick, Wilhelmsen is still averaging 94 mph with his fastball.
Notably, Wilhelmsen gave up around $1.8MM of guaranteed money to take his freedom from the organization, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explains. He had been playing on a $3.1MM salary in his second-to-last season of arbitration eligibility.