The Rangers announced an interesting trio of roster moves today. Veteran hurler Shawn Kelley has been moved to the 10-day injured list with what is described as biceps soreness.
The organization has selected the contract of righty Rafael Montero to fill the open active roster spot. To clear 40-man space, outfielder and former Rule 5 pick Carlos Tocci was designated for assignment.
Kelley, who has served as the Rangers’ closer, had increasingly seemed to be a trade candidate. The club adds that an “MRI showed no acute injury,” which seemingly suggests that Kelley isn’t facing a significant malady. But he’ll be sidelined through to the trade deadline, which will make it quite a bit more difficult for the Texas org to obtain a return sufficient to prompt a deal.
While he has had his ups and downs in recent years, Kelley has mostly been effective since the start of the 2018 campaign. He’s through 33 innings of 3.00 ERA ball this year, with 8.7 K/9 against 1.4 BB/9. With a $2.5MM salary this year and $2.5MM club option for 2020, Kelley’s contract is a fairly appealing one. The option also gives the Rangers an alternative to a trade.
The other moves are intriguing as well. Montero, 28, was once a prized hurler in the Mets organization but his fortunes were sinking even before he missed the ’18 season for Tommy John surgery. It remains to be seen whether he can resurrect his career, but the Rangers will be glad to have a look after watching Montero rack up a shiny 31:2 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 minor-league innings.
As for Tocci, the 23-year-old was bumped from the 40-man after the organization put in a big effort to acquire him. The club carried him for all of the 2018 season to secure his rights through the Rule 5 draft, with Tocci struggling badly in limited playing time. Long considered a project with the bat, he’s slashing .246/.317/.312 in 360 Triple-A plate appearances this year.