The Rangers announced this evening they’ve signed Nick Tropeano to a minor league contract with an invitation to big league Spring Training. The right-hander elected minor league free agency at the end of the season after an August minors deal with the Dodgers didn’t result in a big league opportunity.
While Tropeano didn’t suit up in the majors with L.A., he did log some time at the highest level with both the Giants and Mets earlier in the season. He allowed just three runs in eight innings but only punched out two batters in that time. That marked a step back from Tropeano’s quality work in a small sample the year before, when he fanned 28.8% of batters faced and generated swinging strikes at a very strong 14.9% clip across 15 frames with the Pirates.
Tropeano has appeared in seven of the past eight MLB seasons. A starter with the Astros and Angels earlier in his career, he’s come out of the bullpen for 14 of his 15 big league outings since the start of 2019. Tropeano has continued to start a fair number of his minor league appearances, though, so he could serve in either capacity as a depth option with Texas next season. He worked 46 1/3 innings over 17 Triple-A outings (nine starts) last season, posting a 3.69 ERA with a decent 24.4% strikeout percentage but an elevated 11.5% walk rate.
Texas also announced a minor league deal with third baseman Josh Sale. The left-handed hitter was a first-round draftee of the Rays back in 2010, and he ranked among Baseball America’s top 100 overall prospects entering the following season. Sale never made it past the High-A level in the Tampa Bay farm system, as he was released in 2014 after hitting only .238/.332/.381 in the low minors.
Out of professional baseball for the next seven years, Sale returned with the Gastonia Honey Hunters of the independent Atlantic League last season. Now 30 years old, he popped 34 home runs over 498 plate appearances and hit .284/.394/.593 with Gastonia, impressing the Rangers enough to earn a new opportunity in affiliated ball.