Texas Rangers – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-06-20T21:40:52Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Designate Drew Smyly]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163418 2019-06-20T16:00:33Z 2019-06-20T15:44:52Z The Rangers announced today that they have designated veteran pitcher Drew Smyly for assignment. His 40-man and active roster spots will go to fellow lefty Locke St. John, whose contract was selected.

In a pair of other moves also involving southpaw hurlers, the Texas club called up Kyle Bird and optioned Joe Palumbo.

While rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Smyly signed a two-year, $10MM deal with the Cubs in anticipation of a full and productive 2019 season. The Rangers acquired that contract last fall, installing the lefty in a rotation full of salvaged former quality starters.

Unfortunately, Smyly’s attempt to come back after two missed campaigns has simply not gone as hoped. He has been torched for 8.42 earned runs per nine in 51 1/3 innings on the season, with his struggles continuing after a move to the bullpen.

Though Smyly is back to his customary 91 mph fastball range, he’s having a hard time coaxing hitters to offer at pitches out of the zone (22.4% chase rate). With batters not being fooled by the breaking stuff, they’re having an easy time drawing walks (just under six per nine) from the typically under-control Smyly. And they are teeing off on his mistakes, having already launched 19 long balls against him.

Still only thirty years of age, Smyly may well have a second act left. He was at times a highly effective starter with the Tigers and Rays. If he’s to get back on track, though, it’ll likely mean spending some time working on things at an extended spring facility and then earning another shot at the big leagues through some time in the minors.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Could Replace Joe Palumbo With Jesse Chavez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163398 2019-06-20T14:48:45Z 2019-06-20T14:47:06Z
  • The Rangers were planning on giving left-hander Joe Palumbo a chance to audition for a role in their thin rotation, but that may not be the case anymore, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. The 22-year-old Palumbo has started twice, including in Wednesday’s 10-4 drubbing at the hands of the Indians. The Tribe lit up Palumbo for seven earned runs on six hits (two home runs) in two innings. Reliever Jesse Chavez came in after Palumbo and tossed five innings of one-run ball. Although Chavez, 35, hasn’t started extensively since 2017, the Rangers are so hard up for stability in the back of their rotation that they’ll “consider” shifting him there, manager Chris Woodward said.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Re-Sign Nick Gardewine]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163349 2019-06-20T03:18:13Z 2019-06-20T03:18:13Z
  • The Rangers have re-signed right-hander Nick Gardewine to a minor league contract, the team announced. Gardewine’s back with the Rangers shortly on the heels of his release last Thursday, five days after they designated him for assignment June 8. A seventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2013, Gardewine reached the majors for the first time in 2017 and then pitched to a 4.85 ERA with 4.85 K/9 and 4.85 BB/9 (that’s a lot of 4.85s) in 13 innings through 2018. The 25-year-old has missed substantial time over the past couple seasons because of injuries, though he has pitched 323 innings of 3.71 ERA ball with 8.8 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 during his minor league career.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Joey Gallo Begins Rehab Assignment]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163331 2019-06-19T21:25:23Z 2019-06-19T21:24:34Z Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo is set to begin a rehab assignment at the Rookie level, the team announced. Gallo will have 20 days to work his way back to the majors, barring setbacks.

    Gallo hasn’t played since suffering a left oblique strain June 1. The injury cut off a superstar-caliber start for Gallo, who was amid a career-best season when he went down. The lefty-swinging Gallo burst out of the gate with a .276/.421/.653 line (170 wRC+), 17 home runs and a personal-high 3.3 fWAR in 214 plate appearances. The 25-year-old looked like a strong bet to reach the 40-HR mark for the third straight season at the time of his injury, but it’ll be all the more difficult now considering the time he has missed. Gallo has sat out 17 games and counting to this point.

    The Gallo-less Rangers have gone an impressive 10-7 in his absence, putting them in a dead heat with the Red Sox for the American League’s second wild-card spot. Even with Gallo, Texas is a long shot to actually end up in the postseason, but his return can only improve its odds of making a Cinderella run.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Second-Rounder Ryan Garcia]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163232 2019-06-19T03:59:08Z 2019-06-19T02:26:42Z
  • The Rangers announced the signing of second-round right-hander Ryan Garcia, the 50th pick in this year’s draft. The club gave him full slot value ($1,469,900), per TR Sullivan of MLB.com. Garcia came in at No. 98 in MLB.com’s pre-draft rankings. The former UCLA Bruin could develop into a No. 4 starter in the bigs, Jim Callis and colleague Jonathan Mayo write.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Release Chase d'Arnaud]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163228 2019-06-19T01:08:44Z 2019-06-19T01:08:44Z
  • The Rangers have released infielder Chase d’Arnaud, according to the Pacific Coast League’s transactions page. Despite playing in the hitter-friendly PCL this season, the 32-year-old d’Arnaud posted a horrid .164/.275/.316 line (47 wRC+) in 178 plate appearances with the Rangers’ Triple-A club before his release. The major league journeyman and brother of Rays catcher Travis d’Arnaud is a .222/.273/.316 hitter (59 wRC+) in 599 PA at the game’s top level.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Place Hunter Pence On IL, Activate Willie Calhoun]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=163091 2019-06-17T22:36:07Z 2019-06-17T22:34:39Z The Rangers announced that they’ve placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain. His roster spot’s going to fellow outfielder Willie Calhoun, whom the Rangers activated from the IL after he missed just under a month with a strained left quad.

    This is the first setback in what has been a stunning renaissance season for Pence, who’s a key reason why the Rangers are unexpectedly in wild-card position at the moment. Since signing a minor league contract in the offseason, the former Astro, Phillie and Giant, 36, has slashed .294/.353/.608 (143 wRC+) with 15 home runs in 215 plate appearances. For reference, Pence combined for a 145 wRC+ over the previous two seasons, when it appeared his days as even a passable major leaguer were long over.

    While the loss of Pence is an unwelcome development for the Rangers, who are tied with the Red Sox for the AL’s last playoff spot, the return of Calhoun is encouraging. Acquired from the Dodgers in July 2017 for right-hander Yu Darvish, Calhoun fell short of expectations during his first year-plus in the Texas organization. But the 24-year-old got off to an excellent start this season at the Triple-A level, where he hit .302/.417/.540 with eight homers and more unintentional walks (24) than strikeouts (21) in 152 attempts, and carried that to the Rangers when they promoted him May 15. Calhoun batted .435/.458/.739 with a pair of HRs in 24 PA in the week between his call-up and his IL placement.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Hunter Pence, Nomar Mazara To Receive MRIs On Monday]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162994 2019-06-17T12:00:04Z 2019-06-17T05:01:44Z Two Rangers outfielders will be receiving MRIs on Monday for leg ailments.  Hunter Pence left today’s game in the fifth inning after suffering right groin tightness while chasing a fly ball.  Pence was in right field in place of Nomar Mazara, who received a day off after coming out of Saturday’s game early due to right knee soreness.  Mazara told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (article links) and other reporters that he has been dealing with the issue for a couple of weeks, though curiously, the injury “doesn’t hurt during games, more when I am just standing around,” the outfielder said.

    Of the two injuries, Rangers manager Chris Woodward said “If I was a betting man, I would assume Hunter” would be the one heading to the injured list, if the team was forced to make a roster move.  Mazara’s MRI sounds more precautionary in nature, and Woodward noted that the younger outfielder was already feeling better on Sunday.

    If only one player hits the IL, Texas has a replacement ready to go in Willie Calhoun, who is finishing off a rehab stint from his own injured list stint from a left quad strain that has sidelined him since May 22.  If both Mazara and Pence have to miss time, the Rangers’ outfield wouldn’t be shorthanded for long, as Joey Gallo is roughly a week away from recovering his rehab from an oblique strain, though the team is expected to be cautious with Gallo.  These twin IL returns were lining up as a potential roster crunch situation for the Rangers in the outfield/DH mix, though this problem could be put off for a while longer if Pence and/or Mazara end up injured themselves.

    An IL visit would interrupt the feel-good story that is Pence’s comeback season, as the popular veteran is hitting .294/.353/.608 with 15 homers over 215 PA.  It seemed as if Pence’s career was winding down following subpar years with the Giants in 2017 and 2018, but after overhauling his swing in the offseason, Pence signed with Texas on a minor league contract and has suddenly delivered one of his very best seasons.  Some regression is inevitable, as Pence’s .396 wOBA far exceeds his .368 xwOBA, though even the latter figure is more than respectable.

    While Pence is overachieving at age 36, the 24-year-old Mazara has still yet to break out in his fourth Major League season.  Considered one of baseball’s top prospects heading into the 2016 season, Mazara is hitting .265/.316/.435 this season, which is just about in line with his overall career numbers over 1995 PA in the big leagues.  Between this lackluster offensive production and subpar defensive metrics, Mazara has only a 1.5 fWAR to show for 486 career games.  One bright spot from this year’s numbers is a 45.2% hard-hit ball rate, easily the best of Mazara’s short career, though is also walking less and has a career-high swinging strike rate.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Notes: Gallo, Pitching, Gardewine, Petricka]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162844 2019-06-16T02:54:26Z 2019-06-16T02:54:26Z The latest out of Arlington…

    • Joey Gallo will start game-simulation workouts on Monday with the hope of being back from his oblique strain as early as next weekend, though the team will surely be as cautious as possible with the star slugger.  With Gallo on the verge of a return and Willie Calhoun even closer to completing his own injured list stint, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com both address how the Rangers will handle this incoming glut of outfield/DH possibilities.  Gallo had largely been playing center field at the time of his injury, but since the defensively-superior Delino DeShields has been hitting well in Gallo’s absence, manager Chris Woodward made it clear that “if DeShields is on the team, Delino will play center.”  This leaves Sullivan thinking that Gallo will play in left field when he returns, though such a deployment would mean one of Hunter Pence, Shin-Soo Choo, or Nomar Mazara would have to sit every day, as the other two players would handle right field and DH duties.  Grant notes that Gallo would be slotted in at first base since Ronald Guzman is optionable and isn’t hitting particularly well, though Woodward has hinted that he would prefer not to switch Gallo back to first base (his former position) in midseason.
    • We’ve probably pursued every starting pitching depth option out there,” Rangers assistant GM Shiraz Rehman told reporters, including Grant and Sullivan.  “We’ve talked with a lot of clubs, but they are concerned about their depth, too. They need pitchers, also.”  Aside from Mike Minor’s ace-like performance and some solid work from Lance Lynn, the Rangers haven’t received much out of their rotation this season beyond some decent (but likely unsustainable) efforts from Adrian Sampson and Ariel Jurado, leaving Texas looking for controllable starting help as they both look ahead to their long-term plans while seeing if the team can stay afloat in the wild card race this season.  Grant suggested that the Marlins’ Hector Noesi and the Giants’ Ty Blach could fit what the Rangers are looking for in the short term — experienced pitchers throwing at Triple-A, and potentially acquirable from teams that aren’t in the pennant race, and thus more apt to let such veterans go to a team that would offer them a Major League opportunity.
    • One familiar arm could be back in the pitching mix, as Rehman said that the team is trying to re-sign Nick Gardewine after releasing the right-hander earlier this week.  Gardewine has spent much of the season on the Triple-A injured list, and thus couldn’t be put through outright waivers after being designated for assignment, hence his release to create a 40-man roster spot.  Gardewine has a 3.71 ERA, 3.12 K/BB rate, and 8.8 K/9 over 323 innings in the minors, plus 13 innings for the Rangers over the 2017-18 seasons.
    • The recently-acquired Jake Petricka has been on the Rangers’ radar for a while, as Sullivan reports that the team was interesting in signing the right-hander to a minor league deal during the offseason.  Petricka instead opted for a split contract with the Brewers, and appeared in six games for Milwaukee in April before being outrighted off the team’s 40-man roster.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Ronald Guzman Switches Agencies]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162846 2019-06-16T00:18:15Z 2019-06-16T00:18:15Z Rangers first baseman Ronald Guzman has changed agencies and is now being represented by the Boras Corporation, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.  As Grant notes, Guzman becomes the latest in a notable line of Boras clients on the Texas roster, including Joey Gallo, Elvis Andrus, and Shin-Soo Choo.

    Signed out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager in 2011, Guzman has spent his entire pro career in the Rangers organization, steadily developing until a strong 2017 season earned him a spot (94th) on Baseball Prospectus’ list of the game’s top 100 prospects prior to the 2018 campaign.  After making his big league debut last season, Guzman has shown hint of his left-handed power but below-average (87 wRC+, 88 OPS+) production and a 28.4% strikeout rate overall, hitting .230/.301/.423 with 22 homers over 574 plate appearances for Texas.  Earlier this season, Guzman spent just over a month on the injured list due to a hamstring injury.

    Guzman is still just 24 and controllable through at least the 2023 season, and the Rangers could gain an extra year of control (and avoid Guzman gaining Super Two status) by optioning the first baseman back to Triple-A at some point.  He won’t gain arbitration eligibility until after the 2020 season and, at this point, doesn’t appear to be a realistic extension candidate for a Rangers team that is heavy on left-handed bats and first base/DH types.

    Guzman’s change in representation can be viewed in MLBTR’s Agency Database. If you see any notable errors or omissions, please let us know via email: mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Fourth-Rounder Cody Freeman To Above-Slot Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162794 2019-06-15T22:53:01Z 2019-06-15T22:45:30Z
  • Rangers fourth-rounder Cody Freeman (No. 115) has signed for $900K – significantly more than his $502K slot value – Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Freeman, yet another California high schooler, had committed to Baylor. Baseball America notes Freeman has “premium instincts” and offers a “well-rounded” package.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Jake Petricka]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162697 2019-06-14T19:17:22Z 2019-06-14T19:17:22Z The Rangers have struck a deal with the Brewers for reliever Jake Petricka, per a club announcement. Cash or a player to be named later will go back in return. Robert Murray and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news (via Twitter).

    Petricka, 31, signed a MLB deal with a minor-league split salary. He is optionable this season but was outrighted off of the Milwaukee 40-man roster. The Rangers have assigned Petricka to Triple-A to begin his tenure with the organization.

    While he allowed only three earned runs in his eight frames of big-league action with the Brewers, Petricka managed only three strikeouts to go with six walks. He has been much better during his time at Triple-A, where he carries a 1.89 ERA with a 22:4 K/BB ratio over 19 innings.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Release Nick Gardewine]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162565 2019-06-14T12:31:28Z 2019-06-14T00:12:45Z The Rangers have requested unconditional release waivers on right-hander Nick Gardewine, according to multiple reports (including this tweet from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News).  Gardewine had been designated for assignment earlier this week.

    A seventh-round pick for Texas in the 2013 draft, Gardewine posted a 3.71 ERA, 3.12 K/BB rate, and 8.8 K/9 over 323 minor league innings, pitching exclusively as a reliever since the start of the 2016 season.  He received a couple of looks at the big league level in the form of 15 total games for the Rangers in 2017-18, though he missed much of 2018 recovering from a forearm injury. Gardewine was on the minor league injured list at the time of his DFA, which helps to explain his release; injured players cannot be put through outright waivers. It’s common in these situations for players to re-sign with the organization on a minor league deal, though Gardewine of course has the option to pursue a new opportunity if he chooses.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Joey Gallo, Willie Calhoun, Matt Bush]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162433 2019-06-13T03:05:37Z 2019-06-13T03:02:33Z At 36-31, the Rangers unexpectedly hold a two-game lead on an American League wild-card spot. Some of their recent success has come without injured outfielders Joey Gallo and Willie Calhoun, though both players are progressing toward returns, Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram reports (links: 1, 2). Meanwhile, injured reliever Matt Bush is close to rejoining the Rangers’ bullpen, according to Wilson.

    Gallo, who suffered a left oblique strain June 1, could be back when the Rangers open a six-game road trip June 25, per Wilson. Given the nature of oblique injuries, a three-plus-week absence wouldn’t be a terrible outcome for Gallo or the Rangers. Nevertheless, the injury has temporarily derailed an MVP-caliber start for the 25-year-old Gallo, who was amid a career-best season when he landed on the shelf.

    Gallo entered 2019 off back-to-back 40-home run campaigns, though his high-strikeout, low-batting average ways helped limit him to 2.8 fWAR in each of those years. So far this season, though, Gallo has already totaled 3.3 fWAR in 214 plate appearances. While his strikeouts continue to pile up, he has still slashed .276/.421/.653 (170 wRC+) with 17 homers. Along the way, Gallo has significantly increased his walk rate (19.1 percent, compared to 13.4 from 2015-18). Further backing up his bottom-line results, Gallo ranks first in the majors in average exit velocity (96.3) and fourth in expected weighted on-base average (.442), according to Statcast.

    Along with demonstrating his offensive prowess, Gallo has been a major asset in the field, having logged six Defensive Runs Saved between left and center. Needless to say, Gallo’s return will be great news for Texas, whose lineup has unsurprisingly lost some bite without him.

    While Calhoun’s no Gallo (not yet, at least), he also came out of the gates well before his IL stint. Calhoun has been down May 22 with a strained left quad, but he could return as early as this Monday, Wilson writes. The former top prospect, 24, raked at the Triple-A level at the start of the year before the Rangers recalled him in mid-May. Thanks to his stint in the minors and his injury, Calhoun has picked up just 24 PA in the majors this year. But his .435/.458/.739 line and two HRs are welcome signs for a young player who fell flat with Texas and its Triple-A team last season.

    As for Bush, he hasn’t taken a big league field at all since undergoing surgery on a partial UCL tear in his right elbow last September. However, the 33-year-old could be back in the majors before the month’s out. Bush struggled mightily during his injury-shortened 2018, but he was a useful part of the Rangers’ bullpen in the two previous years. During his three-year, 137-inning Rangers tenure, Bush has pitched to a 3.35 ERA/3.65 FIP with 9.07 K/9 and 3.09 BB/9.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Move Drew Smyly To Bullpen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=162342 2019-06-12T18:12:58Z 2019-06-12T18:07:17Z The Rangers have decided to bump lefty Drew Smyly to the bullpen, the club informed reporters including Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). A replacement starter has yet to be named.

    It’s not surprising to hear this news, as the club strongly hinted a change would be made after another exceedingly rough outing from Smyly, who turns 30 tomorrow. There had been some suggestion that an ankle injury might lead to an injured-list placement, but the Rangers decided instead to slide him into a relief role for the time being.

    Smyly has simply been tagged this year. Through 45 innings, he has coughed up 15 home runs and carries a 44:31 K/BB ratio. Opposing hitters are spitting on pitches out of the zone (22.4% chase rate) and destroying those in it (43.1% hard-hit rate). Though Statcast indicates he has been a bit unfortunate (.419 wOBA-against versus .385 xwOBA-against), it’s scant consolation.

    This decision hints at the tough questions facing the Rangers, who’ve run out to a 36-30 record that seems tough to sustain. The rotation has received a bit of a boost from Adrian Sampson and Ariel Jurado, but it’s hard to count on either to provide even solid results the rest of the way. Even assuming those two can keep up reasonably useful production, and there aren’t any injuries, there’s a need for at least one additional rotation piece behind Mike Minor and Lance Lynn.

    It’s also rough news for Smyly, who had hoped to be in the midst of a return to his prior form at this stage of the season. He missed all of 2017 and 2018 owing to serious elbow problems that resulted in Tommy John surgery. He’ll be a free agent again at season’s end.