Charlie Culberson is returning to the Rangers on a minor league deal, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Culberson signed a minor league deal with the Rangers prior to last year’s season as well, eventually having his contract selected and playing 91 games.
Culberson spent his first five seasons getting limited playing time with the Giants, Rockies and Dodgers. With the Braves in 2018, Culberson burst forth for the best season of his career. In 113 games, he hit .270/.326/.466, wRC+ of 107. Unfortunately, he couldn’t keep up that pace the following year, with his line dropping to .259/.294/.437, wRC+ of 84. He was non-tendered at the end of that season and re-signed with Atlanta, getting into 10 more games as a Brave in 2020 before being outrighted at the end of that campaign.
Joining the Rangers last year, Culberson served a super-utility role for the club, spending time at every position on the diamond except center field, even logging two innings on the mound. His overall line wasn’t especially impressive, coming in at .243/.296/.381, earning a wRC+ of 85 in his 271 plate appearances. However, as Grant mentioned, Culberson was much better with the platoon advantage. In 144 plate appearances against lefties, he hit .346/.376/.556 for a wRC+ of 152. (His line against righties was a putrid .123/.206/.175, wRC+ of 10.)
The club has had a busy offseason, upgrading their position player mix with Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Mitch Garver and Kole Calhoun. They also added another multi-position guy yesterday when they signed Brad Miller. Given that Miller hits from the left, he and Culberson could make for a nice platoon pairing, perhaps at third base or in the outfield corners, depending on how some of the other players on the roster perform.