The Rangers announced they’ve acquired corner outfielders Billy McKinney and Zach Reks from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations. Both players were designated for assignment by Los Angeles last Friday, as many teams cleared roster space for prospects whom they didn’t want to leave eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Texas’ 40-man roster tally is up to 39.
McKinney has bounced around the league a fair amount this year. He opened the season with the Brewers but landed with the Mets via minor trade a few weeks into the season. After two months in Queens, McKinney was designated for assignment and traded to the Dodgers. The 27-year-old finished out the season in Southern California.
Between the three clubs, the left-handed hitting McKinney tallied exactly 300 plate appearances. It was a career-high in playing time, but the former first-rounder didn’t consistently perform at the plate. While he had a solid run with the Mets, McKinney struggled badly with the Brew Crew and Dodgers and ultimately managed a meager .192/.280/.358 season line with nine home runs. His 10.7% walk rate was solid, but McKinney also fanned at a higher-than-average 26.3% clip and didn’t hit for a ton of power. He’s out of minor league option years, so he’ll need to either break camp with Texas in 2022 or again be made available to the rest of the league.
Reks has essentially no big league body of work to speak of, with just ten MLB plate appearances under his belt. The 28-year-old is an accomplished minor league hitter, though, with a career .295/.383/.487 line on the farm. That includes a .282/.382/.529 showing across 764 plate appearances with the Dodgers’ top affiliate in Oklahoma City, where Reks has shown a promising combination of patience and power.
He’s a defensively-limited player with strikeout concerns, but there’s little harm for the Rangers in adding him for nothing more than cash considerations. The left-handed hitting Reks still has a pair of options remaining, so he can shuttled up and down between Arlington and Triple-A Round Rock through the end of the 2023 campaign if he sticks on the 40-man roster.