MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Indians have acquired outfielder Michael Choice from the Rangers. The Rangers will receive cash considerations from the Indians, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Choice will report to Triple-A Columbus.
Choice had been designated for assignment by the Rangers on Tuesday to clear roster space for Will Venable. The 25-year-old was considered a top-100 prospect in baseball as recently as the beginning of the 2014 season, earning a #72 ranking from MLB.com, #79 from Baseball Prospectus, and #98 from Baseball America. However, he posted a .570 OPS in 280 plate appearances in the majors last season and continued to struggle in 2015 at Triple-A Round Rock, batting .244/.309/.399 with 12 home runs and 60 RBI.
Choice was taken in the first round (10th overall) by the Athletics in the 2010 draft, then traded to the Rangers along with Chris Bostick in December 2013 for Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom.
Josh Hamilton’s second stint with the Rangers is now on hold, as the former MVP outfielder has been placed on the disabled list with left knee inflammation.
Hamilton has mostly struggled for the Rangers, hitting .254 with six homers and a .726 OPS in 38 games since they re-acquired him from the Angels in a contract dump. For some context, Hamilton had a .741 OPS in two seasons with the Angels.
He’s shown good power with 13 extra-base hits in 142 at-bats, but Hamilton’s lack of plate discipline and strike-zone control continue to be major weaknesses with an ugly 40/9 K/BB ratio.
Will Venable, freshly acquired from the Padres, will step into the lineup in Hamilton’s place.
Via the Rangers’ executive vice president of communications, John Blake …
Venable was thought to be available at the July 31 trade deadline, but nothing wound up happening. Now he heads to Texas in a waiver trade. The outfielder showed great promise in 2013, tallying 22 home runs and 22 stolen bases in 151 games, but he’s batted just .238/.300/.347 over the last two seasons.
Venable was the longest-tenured player on the Padres, per MLB.com’s Corey Brock.
He’ll give the Rangers depth while Josh Hamilton recovers from a lingering knee injury.