The Dodgers have traded recently designated-for-assignment righty Josh Sborz to the Rangers, reports Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). The Rangers announced the move quickly after that initial report, revealing that they’ll send minor league righty Jhan Zambrano to L.A. in return. Fellow right-hander Jimmy Herget was designated for assignment by the Rangers in order to create roster space for Sborz.
Sborz, 27, lost his roster spot when the Dodgers made their three-year deal with reigning NL Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer official. He’s seen action in the Majors in both 2019 and 2020, pitching to a combined 6.08 ERA and 5.14 SIERA in a tiny sample of 13 1/3 innings.
On the minor league side, Sborz has had a bit more success, logging a 4.55 ERA in 87 Triple-A frames. That mark still isn’t especially eye-catching, but it’s come in a decisively hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League setting. Furthermore, Sborz’s 30.5 percent strikeout rate and 7.7 percent walk rate in Triple-A both give a bit more reason for optimism.
Sborz, a 2015 Competitive Balance draft selection (Round B), has a mid-90s heater with an average or better slider and, perhaps most importantly, a minor league option remaining. He’ll compete for a job in the Texas bullpen this spring and will head to Triple-A to serve as a depth piece if he can’t crack the Opening Day roster.
Texas will have a week to trade the 27-year-old Herget, attempt to run him through outright waivers or simply release him. The right-hander posted a 3.20 ERA in 19 2/3 innings with Texas last year, though the fact that he walked 14 of the 87 batters he faced and plunked another two suggests that he’s not likely to repeat that level of success over a larger sample of work.
Zambrano, 19, tossed 60 innings with the Rangers’ affiliates in the Dominican Summer League in 2019, notching a 2.55 ERA with 52 punchouts and 16 walks. He didn’t pitch in 2020 due to the lack of a minor league season and doesn’t rank among the organization’s top prospects.