Thursday, December 12, 2013
Rangers sign four players to minor deals
By Richard Durrett
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Texas Rangers agreed to terms with infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge, infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff, right-handed pitcher Armando Rodriguez and shortstop Josh Wilson and invited all four players to big league spring training.
The club also agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Doug Mathis on a minor league deal.
From the club's release:
Lillibridge, 30, has seen big league action in each of the last six seasons. He split last season in the Cubs and Yankees organizations, batting .119 with 5 RBI in 20 total games for the two clubs at the big league level. He spent the rest of the year at Triple-A with Iowa and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, batting .277 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI in 89 contests. Lillibridge is a career .205 hitter over 358 games in the majors with Atlanta (2008), Chicago-AL (2009-12), Boston (2012), Cleveland (2012), Chicago-NL (2013), and New York-AL (2013). He has at least 10 big league starts at every position except catcher.
Kouzmanoff, 32, spent last season with Triple-A New Orleans in the Marlins system and batted .294 with 6 homers and 42 RBI over 60 games. His playing time was limited last year by three separate disabled list stints. He has a career .255 average with 85 home runs and 361 RBI over 672 major league games with Cleveland (2006), San Diego (2007-09), Oakland (2010-11), and Colorado (2011). He has played primarily third base in his career, but has also seen action at first base.
Rodriguez, who turns 26 next month, has spent his entire professional career in the Mets farm system. He split last year between Las Vegas (AAA) and Binghamton (AA), combining to go 2-4 with a 4.81 ERA (34 ER/63.2 IP) over 50 relief appearances, his first year to pitch exclusively in relief. The Dominican Republic native has averaged 9.2 strikeouts-per-9-innings in his minor league career.
Wilson, 32, hit .200 with one homer and 4 RBI in 30 games for Arizona in 2013, and also batted .219 with 4 homers and 20 RBI in 59 games for Triple-A Reno. Wilson has a career .225 average with 10 home runs and 71 RBI over 386 major league games with Florida (2005), Washington (2007), Tampa Bay (2007), Arizona (2009), San Diego (2009), Seattle (2009-10), Arizona (2011, 2013), and Milwaukee (2011). Primarily a shortstop throughout his career, Wilson has also seen extended action at second base and third base, and owns 3 major league appearances as a pitcher.
Mathis, 30, split last season in the Marlins and Pirates organizations, going a combined 5-9, 4.03 (54 ER/120.2 IP) in 26 games/22 starts for New Orleans (AAA) and Indianapolis (AAA). He had 89 strikeouts against 53 walks. Mathis saw his only major league action with Texas in 2008-09-10, combining to go 3-3 with a 4.84 ERA (47 ER/87.1 IP) in 45 games/6 starts. His last year in the Rangers system was 2010, and he has since played in the minors for San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, Miami, and Pittsburgh. He was originally selected by the Rangers in the 13th round of the 2005 June Draft out of the University of Missouri.