The Rangers announced today that they’ve re-signed right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez to a minor league contract and invited him to Spring Training. Also getting minor league deals and camp invites are outfielder Anthony Gose (as has been previously reported), lefty David Hurlbut and infielder Christian Lopes.
Gonzalez was the Rangers’ first-round pick back in 2013, but the 25-year-old (26 in January) has struggled substantially in the Majors, pitching to a 4.54 ERA in 78 1/3 innings with more walks than strikeouts. Gonzalez missed the 2017 season due to a partial UCL tear that led to Tommy John surgery in July. He was non-tendered last week and probably won’t be ready to pitch until late in the season, but he’ll continue his rehab with the only pro organization he’s known to date.
Gose, 27, never cemented himself as a big league regular when he ranked among the game’s most promising outfield prospects. A two-way star as an amateur, Gose began pitching in the Tigers’ minor league ranks last season as well. It’s not clear if the Rangers plan to let him continue to experiment on the mound, but the press release references him as an outfielder, so it seems that’ll be his primary role.
Hurlbut, 28, was drafted by the Twins in ’09 and ’11 and has spent his entire career in the Minnesota organization. He reached the Triple-A level in both of the past two seasons and has a solid 3.58 ERA with 6.6 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and a 47 percent ground-ball rate in 163 1/3 innings there.
Lopes, 25, was the Blue Jays’ seventh-round pick in 2011 and has spent his whole career in that organization. He’s a lifetime .262/.336/.376 hitter in his six minor league campaigns and reached Triple-A for the first time last year, where he batted .261/.349/.402 in 92 games.