4:21pm: The Rangers have now formally announced the addition of McAllister on a one-year deal. Their 40-man roster is now full, meaning they’ll need to make a corresponding move once Asdrubal Cabrera’s reported one-year agreement becomes official.
3:55pm: The Rangers are in agreement on a one-year, Major League contract with veteran right-handed reliever Zach McAllister, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The Excel Sports client will earn a $1MM salary in 2019, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets that he can boost his earnings via an incentives package.
McAllister, 31, struggled through an awful 2018 campaign with the Indians and Tigers, posting a combined 6.20 ERA in 45 innings of relief between the two clubs. He did turn in a quality 39-to-10 K/BB ratio in that time, though, and McAllister’s 95.3 mph average fastball velocity was as strong as ever. Additionally, he actually made some gains in swinging-strike rate and particularly on his opponents’ chase rate on out-of-zone pitches.
It’s also worth noting that McAllister was a quality reliever for Cleveland from 2015-17, during which time he turned in a 2.99 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 through 183 1/3 innings of work. Texas has plenty of open spots in its relief corps behind closer Jose Leclerc and the re-signed Jesse Chavez, so it’s not all that surprising to see the organization add an affordable veteran arm. If McAllister can successfully rebound to his 2015-17 form, he’d presumably become a trade asset for the Rangers this summer.
The Rangers organization has yet to announce the move, but Texas did announce a trio of minor league signees today — right-handers Taylor Guerrieri and Michael Tonkin, as well as catcher Tony Sanchez. Each will be invited to Major League Spring Training. Tonkin’s addition was already covered here at MLBTR earlier this month.
Guerrieri, 26, made his MLB with the Blue Jays this past season but only appeared in nine games, totaling 9 2/3 innings with a 4.66 ERA (five runs allowed). A former first-round pick and top prospect with the Rays, Guerrieri’s career has been slowed by injury — most notably including Tommy John surgery in 2013. He’s also served a 50-game suspension in the minor leagues (for a “drug of abuse” as opposed to a performance-enhancing substance). Guerrieri has pitched to a 3.31 ERA in parts of two Double-A seasons (182 innings) but has not yet found much in the way of success in Triple-A or the Majors.
Sanchez, now 30 years of age, was a first-rounder himself back in ’09 but has appeared in just 52 big league games with a .257/.301/.375 slash to his name through 156 plate appearances. He’s a career .253/.340/.403 hitter in nearly 2000 Triple-A plate appearances, though, and he’ll give Texas some depth behind 40-man options that include Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jeff Mathis and Jose Trevino. Jett Bandy, too, will be in camp with the Rangers as a non-roster invitee.