TODAY: Plouffe could earn a $1.75MM salary with up to $300K in incentive pay if he can crack the MLB roster, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Texas has announced the agreement.
YESTERDAY: The Rangers are in agreement on a minor-league deal with third baseman Trevor Plouffe, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic initially tweeted that there was an agreement, but shortly thereafter issued a correction in a subsequent tweet, saying the sides were in discussions.
Plouffe, now 31, had a run as a regular at the hot corner with the Twins and posted some productive campaigns over the years. Everything went wrong for him, though, in a trying 2017 season.
This time last year, Plouffe was preparing for what he hoped would be a bounceback, one-year run with the Athletics, who had signed him for $5.25MM after a less-than-stellar 2016 effort. But Plouffe lasted only 58 games in Oakland and hit even worse after moving to the Rays in the middle of the season. He ended the year with an ugly .198/.272/.318 slash line over 313 total MLB plate appearances.
Prior to that forgettable campaign, Plouffe had only ever played for the Twins. Over seven seasons, he produced right at the league average at the plate. At his best, in 2014-15, Plouffe played at a solid all-around level and profiled as a quality everyday player.
It seems reasonable to expect that the Rangers will give Plouffe a shot at earning a roster spot in camp, but he’ll certainly be competing for a reserve role. Plouffe will likely do battle with players such as Jurickson Profar and Ryan Rua over the next several weeks. While the Rangers are set at third with veteran Adrian Beltre, and remain poised to give the bulk of the time at first to Joey Gallo, there could still be a fair bit of playing time open to be claimed. In particular, Beltre is likely to require some regular rest.