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October 29, 2004

Greer and Jordan Jettisoned

Texas declined the mutual options for the 2005 contracts of OF RUSTY GREER and OF BRIAN JORDAN.

Greer will receive a $600,000 buyout in lieu of an $8,000,000 salary. Jordan receives $125,000 instead of his 2005 salary of $4,000,000.

This season, Greer completed a three-year, $21.2 million contract having played in a total of 52 games, none since July 11, 2002. Numerous foot and shoulder injuries, caused in part by his all-out play, effectively derailed his promising career by age 31. He was a terrific player, hitting .320/.400/.500 during the Ranger heyday of 1996-1999 but not receiving much attention. In a fairer world, Greer would have scored and driven in over 1,000 runs and belted 200+ homers over his career. Greer's career on-base percentage of .387 ranks 20th among active players.

Greer will turn 36 next January and probably will return to Texas as a non-roster invitee. He remains active in the D/FW community.

Jordan will not return, and as he approaches age 38 with two consecutive injury-plagued seasons behind him, he'll do well just to receive an NRI. He batted a dire .222/.275/.363, and only a brief burst of adequacy in August pushed those numbers that "high." Jordan has had a solid career, but this may be the end of the line.

Posted by Lucas at 05:49 PM

October 28, 2004

Six-Year Minor League Free Agents

Per Baseball America:

Phil Akens - RHP
Ray Beasley - LHP
Erick Burke - LHP
Brad Clontz - RHP
Michael Curry - OF
Ryan Dittfurth - RHP
Jose Marte - IF
Tydus Meadows - OF
Brad Miadich - RHP
Julio Mosquera - C
Santiago Perez - SS
Jeff Pickler - 2B
Enny Reyes - LHP
Billy Sylvester - RHP

Largely organizational soldiers and NRIs who never reached the Majors. So far as I know, Dittfurth is the only player to have ever spent time on the Ranger 40-man roster.

Posted by Lucas at 09:23 PM

October 11, 2004


Designated starting pitcher MICKEY CALLAWAY for assignment.

Callaway was injured most of the season and didn't pitch well when healthy. His dismissal doesn't affect the 40-man roster as he was on the 60-day DL.

Posted by Lucas at 03:52 PM

October 08, 2004


Designated starting pitcher BEN KOZLOWSKI for assignment. Announed that Kozlowski was claimed by Cincinnati. Announced that pitcher COLBY LEWIS was claimed by Detroit.

I don't know when Kozlowski was waived; the team made no annoucement until the waiver claim occurred. I do know that Joaquin Benoit, R.A. Dickey, and a host of lesser names still occupy space on the roster, so the loss of Kozlowski makes no sense unless his recovery is progressing much, much slower than expected. Koz is fifteen months past Tommy John surgery and seemed a safe bet for the AAA rotation in 2005. I believe he has one option remaining. Perhaps he never pans out, but he certainly deserves a roster spot more than many of the current occupants.

Posted by Lucas at 03:52 PM

October 07, 2004


Designated starting pitcher COLBY LEWIS for assignment.

Lewis missed most of 2004 with a torn rotator cuff. Once one of the crown jewels of the Ranger system, Lewis pitched spectularly on occasion, wretchedly on others. He won't return before midseason 2005, and if the surgery takes some zip off his fastball, he may not have much to offer, as command was never his forte. Not entirely surprising, but nevertheless a depressing development in what once seemed to be a promising future for Lewis.

Posted by Lucas at 03:51 PM

October 06, 2004


Claimed pitcher RYAN WING off waivers from Chiacgo (AL). Designated outfielder CHAD ALLEN, catcher KEN HUCKABY and pitcher MICHAEL TEJERA for assignment.

Ryan Wing was the White Sox 2nd round pick (71st overall) in 2001. The former Riverside Community College student pitched reasonably well in low-A in 2002 and high-A in 2003 (combined 3.37 ERA, 15 homers allowed in 269 IP, 7.29 K/9, but a questionable 4.3 BB/9). Wing missed all of 2004 with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. Wing actually had an outside shot at the Sox rotation in Spring 2004, but he was optioned to AA and tendinitis in his throwing shoulder prevented him from pitching a single inning. He's lefthanded and won't turn 23 until next February, hence, he's a prospect. Chicago added him to their 40-man roster after 2003 and burned his first option in 2004. Texas might not keep him around depending on who among their own prospects they plan to protect this winter.

Allen played the role of organizational soldier perfectly, hitting the hell out of the ball in AAA while having three short, less successful stints for the Rangers. Texas has DFA'ed him four times in 2004. He has a decent chance to catch on as a fifth outfielder somewhere in 2005 and avoid having to carry his own luggage.

An injury to Gerald Laird earned Huckaby the right to rot on the Ranger bench for a while. At 33 and with a .140/.218/.200 line to his credit, Huckaby won't be more than AAA filler in 2005.

Tejera is a 27-year-old lefty who had shown some promise with Florida, and Texas was wise to claim him in September. Unfortunately, he pitched dreadfully for the Rangers (13.50 ERA, 24 baserunners in 9.1 IP) and will be looking at an NRI somewhere else next spring.

Posted by Lucas at 03:50 PM