The Rangers have re-signed right-handers Edinson Volquez and Ian Gibaut, and catcher Tim Federowicz to minor league contracts, as per club executive VP of communications John Blake (Twitter link). All three players receive invitations to the Rangers’ big league Spring Training camp.
Volquez and the Rangers have been in talks for several weeks about a new minor league deal, as the veteran is looking to play in his 15th Major League season after considering retirement earlier this year. Volquez missed all of 2018 recovering from Tommy John surgery and then faced the threat of another surgery last year after suffering an elbow sprain in April. At the time, Volquez indicated that he was just hoping to return for a final appearance or few appearances in 2019 before hanging up the spikes, but it seems like he’ll again look to win himself a spot on the Texas roster.
Volquez won’t be in line for a starting job now that Texas has revamped its rotation, though the 36-year-old can provide some depth in the event of an injury, and also work out of the bullpen. Full-time relief work would be something of a new frontier for Volquez, who has started 273 of his 287 career appearances, though he performed well in the very small sample size of his 2019 pen work. Volquez didn’t allow a single run in his seven games (6 2/3 IP) as a reliever last season, while posting an 11.57 ERA over 9 1/3 innings as a starter.
Gibaut wasn’t eligible for arbitration, though he was still non-tendered earlier this month as a way for the Rangers to clear some roster space. 2019 was Gibaut’s first season of big league action, as the 26-year-old posted a 5.65 ERA over 14 1/3 combined innings for the Rays and Rangers. An 11th-round pick for Tampa Bay in the 2015 draft, Gibaut has a 2.44 ERA, 3.03 K/BB rate, and 11.2 K/9 over 221 2/3 career minor league innings, though that impressive track record was hit with some heavy control issues last season. In addition to a 7.5 BB/9 over 18 total minor league frames, Gibaut also had a 6.3 BB/9 in his brief MLB tenure.
Federowicz hit .160/.213/.347 over 83 PA with the Rangers last season, and the veteran backstop will return as a potential Triple-A depth option, as Texas is known to be looking for upgrades to its lackluster catching situation. Federowicz has appeared in parts of eight Major League seasons, and owns a career .568 OPS over 443 plate appearances with six different teams.