Texas had previously declined a $4MM option on Barnette, paying him a $250K buyout and putting him back onto the open market. He had played for the prior two seasons with the Rangers after signing with the club following a lengthy stint in Japan.
Barnette, 34, excelled in his first MLB campaign in 2016. (He had never touched the majors before going to Japan in 2010.) Over 60 1/3 innings, he worked to a 2.09 ERA with 7.3 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9.
Things turned south, however, in 2017. He boosted his K rate to 8.9 per nine, along with his swinging-strike rate (from 11.5% to 13.0%). But Barnette also allowed 3.5 free passes per regulation game and saw his ERA skyrocket to 5.49.
In the end, the relationship will continue. The 34-year-old Barnette will help boost the depth of the Texas bullpen, much as recent signee Doug Fister will for the rotation. While that has been a priority, the Rangers likely still have interest in some higher-end additions for both sides of the pitching staff.