Texas Rangers Sign Three Players to Minor-League Deals

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Oct 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets first baseman James Loney (28) smiles after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sport
Oct 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets first baseman James Loney (28) smiles after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sport /
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The Texas Rangers busy off-season continues as they sign three players to minor-league deals. The Rangers add more depth as they build their team for the 2017 season. The team has over ten minor-league signings this month. Will all these signings payoff in the end?

The Texas Rangers have not been shy about making moves this off-season. That continues with their newest three signings. The Rangers continue to add depth and prepare themselves for the long MLB season.

The Rangers have signed first baseman James Loney to a one-year minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Loney will compete with Josh Hamilton for playing time at first base. In 2016 Loney hit .265/.307/.397 with 9 home runs and 34 RBI in 100 games with the New York Mets.

Loney is a former first round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers from the 2002 draft. Instead of being a home run hitting, power first baseman Loney is the opposite. He is a contact hitting player that also has strong plate discipline.

Struggling to find a place to play because Loney is not the notorious homer hitting type of player at first base. During his 11 year MLB career Loney is hitting .284/.336/.410 with 108 homers and 669 RBI. Loney should give Hamilton tough competition at first base in Spring Training.

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The next signing for the Rangers is first baseman Jacob Rogers. Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 40th round of the 2012 June amateur draft.  Rogers has not yet reached the Triple-A level, but had success in 2016.

Rogers played in the Independent League in 2016 for the Winnipeg Goldeyes. He hit .275/.407/.442 with 8 homers and 44 RBI in 82 games. Rogers has solid plate discipline has he walked 56 times last season with just 76 strikeouts.

The last signing the Rangers did is left-handed pitcher Jeff Malm. A converted first baseman that moved to the mound in 2016. Malm was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 5th round of the 2009 June amateur draft.

Originally Malm was drafted to play first base, but bloomed into a relief pitcher last season. In 2016 Malm went 3-2 2.06 ERA in 39 games with four saves. That was between two levels in the Dodgers minor league system.

Now that Malm is a relief pitcher he could be on the fast track to the Major Leagues. If he has success in 2017 the Rangers may decide to make a move and call Malm up. The Rangers are in desperate need of left-handed pitchers and Malm had a strong 2016 campaign.

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