Delino DeShields Jr. is back with the Rangers. Texas announced Monday that they’ve signed DeShields to a minor league contract and invited him to Major League Spring Training. The Rangers also confirmed their signing of righty Sam Gaviglio to a minor league deal, which we reported over the weekend.
Still just 28 years old, DeShields was with the Rangers from 2015-19 before being flipped to Cleveland as part of the Corey Kluber trade last winter. He spent just one year there and posted a tepid .252/.310/.318 batting line in 120 homerless plate appearances. Normally a nuisance on the basepaths, DeShields went just 3-for-5 in stolen base attempts through 37 games with Cleveland, who non-tendered him this winter rather than pay him a raise on last year’s $1.875MM salary (prior to prorating). DeShields missed time early in the season after being diagnosed with Covid-19 and didn’t make his 2020 debut until Aug. 6.
Now back with the Rangers, DeShields will vie for playing time in an outfield mix that is tentatively set to feature David Dahl in left field, Leody Taveras in center and slugger Joey Gallo in right. Both Dahl and Gallo are left-handed hitters, while Taveras is a switch-hitter who has typically fared better from the left side of the plate than from the right. As such, the righty-swinging DeShields could well factor in as a complementary right-handed bat who could see action as a pinch-runner or defensive upgrade late in games.