Rangers trade for Michael Choice
The Texas Rangers wanted more power in the outfield and the Oakland Athletics wanted more defense, so the clubs swapped outfielders with Craig Gentry going to the A's in exchange for Michael Choice as part of a four-player trade.
The deal also included pitcher Josh Lindblom heading to Oakland and infielder Chris Bostick going to Texas.
Choice will be on the Rangers' major league roster; Bostick has been assigned to Class A Myrtle Beach.
The 24-year-old Choice is a native of Fort Worth and played at nearby Mansfield Timberview High School and the University of Texas-Arlington. The A's selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft. He made his major league debut this past September and was 5-for-18 (.278) in nine games, making two starts in right field and one in left. He was a Pacific Coast League All-Star with Sacramento, batting .302 with 14 homers and 89 RBIs in 132 games. It was his first season in Triple-A.
"Michael is a guy we followed in his amateur days literally down the block," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He has a chance to hit and hit for power, is athletic and can play all three outfield spots."
Daniels said the Rangers have put an emphasis on run production and feel Choice can help them with that now and in the future. Daniels was not ready to name Choice a starter but said he'd have the opportunity to compete for a spot in spring training.
The GM did not rule out signing another bat before the offseason is out, though he added that the club could take its time and doesn't feel it has to do anything else.
Gentry, who turned 30 on Saturday, hit .280 with two homers, 22 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 106 games with the Rangers last season. He can play center field and the corner outfield spots and is a solid defender. He also has exceptional speed.
"Craig has been a big contributor and a big piece of our club, an underrated piece of our club," Daniels said.
But with Leonys Martin penciled in as the center fielder, the Rangers could afford to deal Gentry.
Bostick, 20, hit .282 with 14 homers, 89 RBIs and 25 stolen bases at Class A Beloit. He was drafted in the 44th round by Oakland in 2011.
Lindblom, 26, was acquired by the Rangers from Philadelphia as part of the Michael Young trade at this time last year. And that came a few months after he was dealt from the Dodgers to the Phillies at the trade deadline.
The trade puts the Rangers at 38 players on their major league roster.
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