TODAY: Tolleson has elected free agency, the team announced.
YESTERDAY: The Rangers have outrighted right-handed pitchers Lucas Harrell and Shawn Tolleson, according to an announcement from VP of communications John Blake. Both pitchers ended the year on the 60-day DL, and now have the option to elect free agency.
Harrell, 31, returned stateside after spending 2015 with Korea’s LG Twins. He didn’t pitch well at Double-A with the Tigers organization, but got a shot with the rebuilding Braves and turned in five useful starts for Atlanta.
That led to a trade to the Rangers, but things didn’t quite pan out in Texas. In his four outings, Harrell managed only 17 2/3 innings, coughing up 11 earned runs and permitting 13 walks to go with his 15 strikeouts. His year ended with a groin strain.
As for Tolleson, 28, the 2016 campaign was a bit of a nightmare. He had been quite a productive member of the Rangers bullpen for the two prior seasons, racking up 144 frames of 2.88 ERA ball and taking over the closer’s role. But he fell off of a cliff this year, allowing a 7.68 ERA over 36 1/3 innings.
While he still managed 7.2 K/9 versus 2.5 BB/9 in 2016, Tolleson allowed 53 hits and eight long balls in his partial-season work for the Rangers. Tolleson didn’t show any velocity decline, and was perhaps unlucky in some respects (.372 BABIP, 24.2% HR/FB rate). He was ultimately placed on the 60-day DL due to back issues. With a projected $3.6MM arbitration salary, Texas decided to move on.
It’s certainly possible that either of these hurlers could end up returning to the Rangers, though they’ll have a shot to test the open market first. Both figure to garner their fair share of interest: Harrell may at least represent a rotation depth option, while Tolleson’s recent history as a quality late-inning arm is intriguing.
Would like to see the D’Backs take a shot on both.
Tolle yes, Harrell is an emergency spot starter at best for a team with rotation depth.
Tolleson went from coming in 10th place in AL Cy Young voting in 2015 to being cut at the end of 2016. The life of a reliever is a strange one indeed.
Also, relievers shouldn’t be counted in Cy Young voting.
Unless your putting up a season like Eric Gagnes cry young season, I agree about the relievers being counted in the cy young votes
I’m curious as to why Texas thinks he’s broken or not worth the money.
Would like to see the Dodgers bring Tolleson back and put him in a less pressurized middle relief role….thinking he’d thrive in a role like this.
I was thinking the same thing. Tolleson and Kershaw were best of friends, and played travel ball together, along with Jordan Walden who is a free agent as well. Maybe they could all be reunited this winter. Lol. I really wouldn’t mind seeing either Tolleson or Walden in that Dodgers pen next year, one bit.
We’re getting the band back together
Tolleson is a prime candidate for a rebound. I think he’ll find his way to the back end of a bullpen somewhere.
Anyone think Tolleson could net a ML deal or will he have to settle for a non-guaranteed NRI deal with a high base salary upon making the team?
He’ll get an MLB deal for sure.
Would love to see the Tigers take a shot at Tolleson. He’s got to be cheaper than Lowe. Lowe needs a change of scenery.