Texas has switched starting catchers, letting Bengie Molina walk as a free agent and signing Yorvit Torrealba to replace him, but T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers are sticking with Matt Treanor as their backup.
General manager Jon Daniels told Sullivan that “we’re pretty confident Matt is coming back.”
Treanor got a career-high 272 plate appearances this year, but hit just .211 with a .595 OPS. He’s a career .227 hitter with a .621 OPS, so the Rangers clearly don’t care about his offense and are presumably planning to give 100-plus starts to Torrealba.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.