The Rangers announced on Tuesday that infielders Phil Gosselin and Will Middlebrooks, right-hander Paolo Espino and outfielder Jared Hoying have cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Round Rock. Both Gosselin and Middlebrooks have rejected the assignment in favor of free agency, per the team. The Rangers’ 40-man roster is now at 36 players, though two of those vacancies are presumably ticketed for right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez and infielder Hanser Alberto, each of whom is on the 60-day disabled list.
Texas claimed Gosselin, 29, off waivers from the Pirates back in August, though he only appeared in 12 games and logged eight plate appearances. Gosselin struggled between both organizations this season, but he did hit .288/.340/.411 in 358 plate appearances at the MLB level from 2015-16.
Middlebrooks, meanwhile, took 39 plate appearances over the course of 22 games and hit just .211/.321/.368. He did post a .258/.327/.529 batting line and club 23 homers over the life of 342 PAs with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate. It’s been quite some time since the now-29-year-old Middlebrooks looked like a possible rising star, but he’s displayed quality power numbers in the minors in each of the past two seasons and should land another minors pact this winter.
The 30-year-old Espino made his MLB debut this season with the Brewers but logged a 6.00 ERA and a 20-to-10 K/BB ratio in 24 innings. A veteran of 11 minor league seasons, Espino has a 3.76 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 across 505 1/3 career innings in Triple-A.
As for Hoying, the 28-year-old has been up and down with Texas over the past two years, hitting a combined .220/.262/.288 in 126 plate appearances. He’s a career .254/.308/.465 hitter in parts of five Triple-A seasons.