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March 26, 2007

Astacio in, Bauer Out

Texas claimed EZEQUIEL ASTACIO off waivers from Houston and placed pitcher ALEXI OGANDO on the restricted list.

One of three heralded minor-league prospects acquired from Philly for Billy Wagner, Zeke has yet to fulfill his potential. Occasionally very good, often very hittable, Astacio’s main problem is a catastrophic 2.5 homers allowed per nine innings. That’s one per sixteen batters faced. Astacio has no options remaining, so, like Houston, the Rangers must attempt to pass him through waivers if they want him in AAA. Perhaps he’s more likely to squeeze through at the end of the month when many teams will be facing difficult roster decisions. Now 27, he’s just a pitcher instead of a prospect, but he’s not a terrible insurance policy for the rotation.

Ogando and Omar Beltre will once again terrorize the Dominican Summer League.

Texas designated reliever RICK BAUER for assignment and added infielder ADAM FOX to the 40-man roster.

Huh? Like John Wasdin in ‘06, Bauer signed a Major League contract in the offseason, only to be released before the season begins. Going into Spring Training, he was the Ranger Most Likely To Be Traded To A Team Ready To Overpay For Relief Help, but his atrocious spring snuffed whatever hope Texas had of converting him into a real prospect or reasonable facsimile. Now, apparently, Texas will pay him not to pitch in Arlington. This is one of those roster moves that probably won’t have any positive or negative effect on the team. That said, it’s an odd decision. Despite his middling track record and awful spring, Bauer was a useful reliever last season.

As to why Texas added a 25-year-old who spent most of last year in high-A instead of, say, Sammy Sosa, it’s just a temporary situation. Per Jamey Newberg, Fox recently became a father and is held in high personal regard in the system, so Texas is buying him a few days in the MLB pension plan and a union card. When Texas puts Sosa, Jerry Hairston, or someone else on the 40, Fox will clear waivers with ease and probably join Frisco.

Posted by Lucas at March 26, 2007 11:48 PM