The Texas Rangers have reportedly agreed to a pair of minor league deals in an effort to boost their overall relief depth this offseason.
While the long rumored pursuit of Nolan Arenado and interest in free agents Nick Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna dominate headlines, the Texas Rangers made a flurry of minor league moves to bolster their relief depth. Per club officials, Texas has signed righty Luis Garcia and lefty James Jones to minor league contracts. In addition, they’ve assigned Jimmy Herget, claimed on waivers earlier this offseason, outright to Triple-A Nashville. Lastly they announced the release of righty Reed Garrett who has an agreement with the Seibu Lions in Japan.
Garcia spent 2019 with the Angels and made 64 appearances. He posted a 4.35 ERA and 5.94 FIP in 62 innings while recording 57 strikeouts. The 32-year old has parts seven big league seasons under his belt amassing a career 4.17 ERA. He’s got a career K/9 rate of 8.2 and of his 315 career appearances, 313 are in relief. His best season came in 2017 when he was with the Phillies. He made 66 appearances for the NL squad and posted a stellar 2.65 ERA. His deal does include an invite to Spring Training.
James Jones is a name Rangers fans are likely a bit more familiar with despite not having near the Major League resumé of Garcia. Jones was drafted by the Mariners back in 2009 as a center fielder. He joined the Rangers organization in 2015 as a part of the deal that sent Leonys Martin to Seattle. In 2016, while in the Texas minor league system, Jones began converting to a pitcher. He missed all of 2017 with Tommy John surgery. After working his way through the organization in 2018, he hit free agency but rejoined Texas that offseason. Last year, Jones split time between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Nashville posting a combined 2.67 ERA in 45 total relief appearances. The 31-year old struck out 71 in 64 innings while finishing with a 1.156 WHIP.