The Rangers are signing reliever Brandon Workman to a minor league contract, reports Robert Murray of FanSided (Twitter link). Presumably, the 33-year-old will get a look in big league camp.
Workman, a UT-Austin product, has seven years of big league experience to his name. He worked in a swing capacity with the Red Sox from 2013-14, but he lost most of the following two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. Upon returning from that procedure in 2017, Workman moved full-time into relief and found a fair amount of success.
The right-hander worked at least 39 innings with an ERA below 3.30 in every season from 2017-19. He was an utterly dominant late-game option in 2019, when he pitched to a 1.88 ERA in 71 2/3 frames and saved 16 games. Few pitchers could match the combination of strikeouts (36.4%) and grounders (51.1%) Workman put up that season, although he did walk a fine line with his control (15.7% walk percentage).
Workman had been a capable strike-thrower for his career until 2019. But he’s continued to dole out plenty of free passes in recent seasons even as his strikeout and ground-ball numbers have fallen back to ordinary levels. Over the past two seasons, he’s suited up with three clubs (the Red Sox, Phillies and Cubs) and combined for 47 2/3 innings of 5.66 ERA ball. He’s been hit at a .330/.426/.522 clip, with a dramatically reduced 20.3% strikeout rate and an elevated 14.3% walk percentage.
Those past two years of struggles dictate that Workman will have to pitch his way back into the big leagues as a non-roster player. Still, it’s sensible for the Rangers to take a look at a reliever who’s not too far removed from finding major league success. Texas’ bullpen mix is almost entirely wide open, with Joe Barlow and Spencer Patton perhaps the only right-handed locks for season-opening spots.
Workman hit an absolute wall quickly.
I still think he has some talent in him. Guy was nasty 2013 postseason, will never forget that. He was underrated then
I don’t. He has been horrendous. 2013 was a long time ago for a reliever.
Yes, postseason 2013 and 2019 were about the best:
Innings – 71.2
Hits – 29
SO – 104
2019 was pretty unreal as hitters could not lay off his breaking ball, but other than that he has not been that good. A minor league contract and a dozen inning at an ERA of 5.50 is about what I would expect.
If this was 2019 I’d be pumped. But depth is depth.
Awesome consolation prize for the Kershaw sweepstakes!
This fits “second place is the first place loser” to a tee.
He’s still only 33? Wow. As a Sox fan, that’s insane to me.
He made $100K last year after making $3.5M the year before.
Hope he invested $3.5 Mwisely.
Winslow – “Hope he invested $3.5 M wisely.”
That is my sincere hope for MLB, minor leaguers, and especially draftees!! The overwhelming majority of players never even make it above AA, and if their signing bonus is under $125,000 they would be better off accepting a scholarship. I am glad MLB no longer has draft rounds 21-40!
I still think this guy has some talent in him. He’s nasty when good
Seems like a solid pickup unless you actually watched him pitch the last two years. Can’t locate his fastball and his hammer curve is gone completely
He’ll make the team after a sterling spring training going 1-0 era of 0.97 but the wheels will fall off shortly after the season begins and he’ll be tuned up to a 0-2 record, 5.77 era and be DFAd on June 9
Fire Jon Daniels
The Rangers have been good at getting the best put 9f veteran pitchers. I could see Workman becoming their closer.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Buried the lead: Rangers and guy work out a deal