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October 27, 2003

Transaction

Signed pitchers ERIC SABEL and BILLY SYLVESTER to minor-league contracts.

Sabel and Sylvester will be organizational filler with chances to become the next Brian Shouse or Ron Mahay. 29-year-old Eric Sabel has pitched in relief for Arizona and Detroit. He has a 5.10 ERA in 60 career innings. Sabel pitched exclusively for AAA Tucson in 2003. Sylvester is a 27-year-old relief pitcher who has never appeared in an ML game. He has a career minor-league ERA of 3.49 and 440 strikeouts in 420 innings but also has 236 career walks. Sylvester has spent his entire career in the Atlanta organization after joining them as an undrafted free agent.

Posted by Lucas at 08:40 PM

October 21, 2003

Transaction

Signed pitcher JOHN WASDIN to a minor-league contract.

Wasdin will be 2004's version of Robert Ellis, a pitcher with a Major League resume for Texas to call up if three-fifths of the rotation collapses or gets hurt. He should pitch well enough to please the good people of Oklahoma City.

Posted by Lucas at 08:39 PM

October 17, 2003

Transaction

Signed relief pitcher RON MAHAY to a one-year contract for an undisclosed sum.

Mahay enjoyed a career season with Texas in 2003, hurling 45 innings with a 3.18 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. The lefty was originally drafted as an outfielder by the Red Sox in 1991 and converted to pitcher in 1996. Mahay allowed only a .248 average on balls put in play, very low for a Ranger pitcher. I don't expect him to repeat his 2003 campaign, but as long as he can keep his ERA below 4.50, he'll earn his salary, which I'd guess isn't too far above the minimum.

Posted by Lucas at 08:39 PM

October 15, 2003

Transaction

Outrighted outfielders SHANE SPENCER and MARCUS THAMES, removing them from the 40-man roster. Both cleared waivers and are free agents.

Spencer was acquired (with, more importantly, pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez) from Cleveland for Ryan Ludwick and batted a tepid .227/.329/.346 in 55 games with Texas. He was nothing more than a spot-filler in the depleted Ranger outfield and did nothing to warrant a return engagement. Thames was acquired from the Yankees for Ruben Sierra. His ceiling appears to be as a fifth outfielder. The Rangers might have interest in re-signing Thames to a minor-league deal. With these transactions, the Rangers have only three outfielders on their 40-man roster.

Posted by Lucas at 08:37 PM

October 09, 2003

Transaction

Released pitcher TONY MOUNCE.

The 28-year-old rookie had a 7.11 ERA and a 1-5 record in eleven starts. Mounce requested his release to pursue an opportunity in Japan. The Rangers would have outrighted him anyway. Mounce impressed in AAA but just didn't look the part of Major League pitcher to me. Eminently hittable.

Posted by Lucas at 08:36 PM

October 06, 2003

Transaction

Outrighted catcher TODD GREENE to Triple-A Oklahoma, removing him from the 40-man roster. Greene refused the assignment and became a free agent.

Einar Diaz and his ridiculous $2.5 million salary aren't going anywhere without the Rangers paying for him to play elsewhere in 2004, and Gerald Laird appears just about ready from prime time. Greene is somewhat mischaracterized as an offensive catcher. He's good for the occasional homer but doesn't hit for average and would rather take a bullet than a walk. He'll latch on somewhere and has an outside shot at returning to Texas.

Posted by Lucas at 08:35 PM

October 01, 2003

Transaction

Outrighted pitcher AARON FULTZ, 2B/OF JERMAINE CLARK, IF/OF DONNIE SADLER and OF RYAN CHRISTENSON to Triple-A Oklahoma, thus removing them from the 40-man roster. Each player declared free agency.

Fultz is the only surprise on this list, and not much of a surprise at that. He was enjoying his best season until injuring his shoulder on June 23 and missing three weeks. Fultz posted an ERA of 3.63 before the injury, 7.48 afterwards. He's nothing special, and even the pitching-starved Rangers should be able to find an adequate replacement from what should be a huge group of non-tendered players. Clark has a career .360 OBP in AAA but has not batted well in limited ML experience and has been waived three times in 2003. Sadler and Christenson are weak-hitting backups.

Posted by Lucas at 08:25 PM