The Rangers announced Wednesday that left-hander Kyle Bird has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Nashville. He was designated for assignment last week when Texas finalized its one-year deals with Todd Frazier and Robinson Chirinos. Bird will be in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year. Texas also confirmed its previously reported minor league agreement with veteran righty Juan Nicasio.
Bird, 27 in April, came to the Rangers by way of the Rays in the three-team trade that sent Jurickson Profar to Oakland a year ago. That he went unclaimed on waivers is of mild surprise, given that he’s a lefty with minor league options remaining, a strong upper-minors track record and plenty of spin on his heater and slider.
Bird did struggle this year in his big league debut, allowing 11 runs and a staggering five homers in 12 2/3 innings of relief work. However, he also pitched to a 2.86 ERA with a 39-to-15 K/BB ratio and just four homers allowed in 34 2/3 innings of Triple-A ball. Overall, he has a 3.09 ERA in 140 Double-A frames and a 2.17 mark in 95 2/3 innings in Triple-A. He’s no longer on Texas’ 40-man roster, but he’ll have a chance to work his way back into the big league picture in 2020.