December 29, 2003
Signed OF DAVID DELLUCCI to a one-year contract for $775,000.
A harmless signing on the surface, but one that forebodes ill. Dellucci is a fine 5th outfielder and respectable 4th outfielder if not pressed into more frequent service. As an everyday player, especially as a corner outfielder, Dellucci drags down an offense. Outside of a magical 109 at-bats in 1999 when he batted .396, Dellucci is a lifetime .255/.326/.403 batter, mostly in the hitter-friendly Bank One Ballpark.
That said, Buck Showalter likes Dellucci. He also doesn't seem terribly fond of putative left fielder Kevin Mench. Showalter might be inclined to make left field a platoon. As the lefty, Dellucci would see the "right" end of the platoon. Showalter might also bench Mench or Laynce Nix if either struggles to start the season. Thus, Dellucci could achieve 400 or more plate appearances. He doesn't deserve that many
Posted by Lucas at 08:58 PM
December 27, 2003
Signed OF BRIAN JORDAN to a one-year contact with a one-year option. Jordan will receive $1.25 million, plus $50,000 for reaching 400 plate appearances and $50,000 for every additional 50 PA's up to 600. The 2005 option is $4,000,000 or a $250,000 buyout.
Texas badly needed to sign a respectable ML outfielder, lest they wanted to sport a lineup of Mench/Nivar/Nix in 2004. Jordan is 37 and injury-prone but has sported an OPS+ of 110 or better in each of the last three years. If Jordan provides 450 at-bats with adequate production, he's a fantastic signing. If Texas flips him for a decent prospect in July, all the better. If he flops, Texas loses little money and risks nothing for the future.
Posted by Lucas at 08:56 PM
December 22, 2003
Signed OF JASON TYNER and pitcher MIKE BACSIK to minor-league deals.
Texas had declined to offer a Major-League deal to Tyner two days before. Bacsik, 26, has a 6.22 career ERA in 81 innings spread over three seasons. Bacsik has never pitched better than respectably in AAA, posting a 3.24 ERA in 2001. Bacsik has a chance to join the AAA rotation with an outside shot at pitching for Texas if injuries or ineffectiveness thin out the ranks. His father pitcher for Texas during 1975-1997.
Posted by Lucas at 08:56 PM
December 20, 2003
Declined to offer a contract to OF JASON TYNER, thereby removing him from the 40-man roster.
Texas signed Tyner only twelve days ago in a waiver claim from Tampa Bay (see below). Tyner was the only player on the roster not to receive an offer. There will be others as Texas signs additional free agents. Mickey Callaway, Travis Hughes: I'm thinking of you
Posted by Lucas at 08:55 PM
December 15, 2003
Selected Oakland relief pitcher CHRIS MABEUS in the Major League Rule 5 Draft. Lost recently signed IF ANDY FOX to Montreal in the draft.
Mabeus was a 13th-round selection in 1999 from Lewis-Clark State. He pitched with modest success in two years of A-ball before turning it up a notch in 2003, posting a 2.75 ERA with 15 walks and 70 strikeouts in 62 innings split between A and AA. Mabeus had a 4.50 ERA in the 2003 Arizona Fall League. Mabeus will be 25 next spring and has barely a fair chance of sticking, in my opinion. As for Andy, we hardly knew ye. Fox had a solid shot of making the 25-man roster as a Donnie Sadler-type. The Rule 5 draft is normally littered with slowly developing career minor-leaguers, not thirtysomething vets, but Montreal must have seen him as a cheap backup to Cabrera and Vidro.
Posted by Lucas at 08:54 PM
December 10, 2003
Signed free-agent 1B/DH BRAD FULLMER to a one-year deal, terms undisclosed.
Fullmer is exactly the kind of player the ostensibly cash-strapped Rangers should sign. He has a lifetime OPS+ of 113 and popped 32 homers Fullmer mashes righties (career .313/.398/.517) but can't hit lefties at all (.226/.270/.377) so will need a platoon mate.
Posted by Lucas at 08:53 PM
December 09, 2003
Atlanta signed Ranger free-agent pitcher JOHN THOMSON to a two-year, $7 million deal.
The Rangers reportedly had offered two years for slightly less money. Thomson probably chose to pitch for the team with a much better chance of competing in 2004. While not a huge loss, Thomson does offer 200+ innings of league-average ERA, thus raising the question of who among the Rangers will replace those innings. Unfortunately, the answer might be the dreadful Brett Tomko. If Atlanta signs no one higher-ranked in the Elias ratings, Texas will receive Atlanta's first-round pick in the 2004 draft.
Posted by Lucas at 08:52 PM
December 08, 2003
Claimed OF JASON TYNER off waivers from Tampa Bay.
Tyner has a career minor-league isolated power percentage of .050. In the Majors, it's .042. He also walks about one in every 23 plate appearances. Thus, Tyner needs to bat around .325 to be a useful ballplayer. He doesn't. Tyner has a career line of .257/.294/.299 in 245 Major League games. What Texas intends to do with a player who reaches base less often than Jason Conti or Ryan Christenson is anyone's guess.
Posted by Lucas at 08:52 PM
December 07, 2003
Offered arbitration to pitcher JOHN THOMSON. Declined arbitration to 1B RAFAEL PALMEIRO, OF JUAN GONZALEZ and pitcher ISMAEL VALDES.
No surprises. GM John Hart despises arbitration but correctly offered it to Thomson, who won't break the Rangers' limited budget even if he wins the hearing. Texas never offered a contract to Valdes, and in fact had benched him during the last two weeks fo the season to start younger pitchers. Gonzalez was persona non grata after two expensive and injury-filled years. Finally, Texas could have used another season of Palmeiro but didn't want to commit much money or a long-term contract to a 39-year-old. Palmeiro leaves Texas with the team record for most games played, runs scored, and walks.
Posted by Lucas at 08:51 PM
December 04, 2003
Signed reliever TODD WILLIAMS to a minor-league contract.
Williams obviously loves baseball. The soon-to-be 33-year-old has pitched grand total of 53 Major League innings in four seasons sprawled over a stretch of seven years. Williams had a career season of sorts in 2003, posting a 1.55 ERA in 70 innings for AAA Durham. Williams doesn't strike out many batters and hasn't done a thing on the big stage. An extreme long shot to contribute to Texas in 2004.
Posted by Lucas at 08:50 PM