The Rangers announced on Friday that they’ve signed veteran left-handed reliever Wesley Wright to a minor league contract and outrighted right-hander Brady Dragmire to Triple-A Round Rock. Both players will be invited to Major League Spring Training, per Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake.
Wright, who turns 32 tomorrow, didn’t appear in the Majors in 2016 (the first year since 2007 that he hasn’t thrown a big league pitch). He did log 31 1/3 innings with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate, posting a 4.31 ERA with 21 strikeouts against 13 walks.
Wright lost most of the 2015 season to injury (a strained left trapezius muscle, to be more specific), but from 2011-14 he was a quality contributor to the Astros, Cubs and Rays. In those four seasons, Wright logged a 3.25 ERA with 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings against 3.2 walks per nine. Over the course of his career, Wright has held opposing left-handers to a rather timid .237/.313/.334 batting line through 606 plate appearances.
As for Dragmire, the 23-year-old’s lengthy and tumultuous trip through the offseason waiver circuit will now end with the Rangers. Originally the property of the Blue Jays, Dragmire was designated for assignment in late September and traded to the Pirates, only to be claimed back by the Rangers in early December. Texas tried to sneak him through waivers two weeks later after signing Carlos Gomez, at which point the Pirates re-claimed him off waivers. As if that wasn’t enough movement, Dragmire was again designated by Pittsburgh and again claimed by the Rangers, who designated him for assignment yet again last week after signing Tyson Ross. The Rangers have now finally succeeded in passing him through waivers, meaning they’ll be able to retain his rights without committing a 40-man roster spot to Dragmire.
Last season, Dragmire logged a 4.38 ERA with 5.1 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 in 72 innings at Double-A New Hampshire (Toronto’s affiliate). While those numbers aren’t exactly eye-catching, Dragmire also logged a robust 63.6 percent ground-ball rate, which seems to have made him highly appealing to both Texas and Pittsburgh. He’ll hope to replicate that trait with some improved run prevention in the upper minors as he looks to make his way to the Major Leagues for the first time in 2017.