Texas Rangers Bring Back Reliever Tony Barnette for 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 07: Tony Barnette (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 07: Tony Barnette (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers have set their focus on rebuilding their starting rotation this winter. They added to their bullpen on Monday, re-signing reliever Tony Barnette for the 2018 season.

34-year-old reliever Tony Barnette wasn’t a free agent for long this off-season. The Texas Rangers officially brought back Barnette on a one-year deal. He took a $500,000 pay cut off his 2017 salary to remain a member of the Rangers organization.

The 2017 season didn’t go particularly well for Barnette. He went 2-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 50 games and two saves. It’s a shame because his 2016 season was an enormous success. He posted a 2.09 ERA in 50 games during the ’16 campaign.

According to Evan Grant, between July 3 and Sept. 24, Barnette had a 2.97 ERA and kept opponents to a .238 batting average. Despite how the season stats look, Barnette did have success with the Rangers last season.

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In his final outing of the season he allowed four hits and five runs in a third of an inning. Those types of appearances are what depicted such a terrible season. There’s a reliable pitcher in there, but finding him consistently has been the problem.

The 2018 contract is a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, the same amount that Barnette made in his first season with Texas. He spent six seasons in Japan before joining the Rangers organization in 2016.

This move bolsters the Rangers bullpen and gives them another late inning option. They’re now looking at a pen with Jake Diekman, Alex Claudio, Keone Kela, and Jose Leclerc. Hard-throwing Matt Bush could transition to the rotation, but if not he’ll be part of that bullpen as well.