In his “10 questions” piece for MLB.com, T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers are in the market for backstops:
1. What will happen with the catching situation?
The Rangers will bring in at least one and possibly two veteran
catchers to push Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. The
Rangers clearly have concerns about Saltalamacchia’s right shoulder and
they clearly have doubts that Teagarden is ready for everyday duty.
Rod Barajas, Yorvit Torrealba,
Bengie Molina and Miguel Olivo are the “best available” catchers, and I put that
in quotes for obvious reasons, but all four are believed to be seeking
multi-year contracts. Instead, Sullivan sees the Rangers going after
secondary options like Jose Molina, Michael Barrett and Mike Redmond.
He also mentions Josh Bard as a possibility, however he signed a minor
league deal with the Mariners earlier this week. Devastating news, I
know, but Jon Daniels will just have to pick up the pieces and move on.
Update: Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that the Rangers have shown interest in Dioner Navarro of the Rays. Navarro was a non-tender candidate last month before he agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million contract.
Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.
Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.
Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.
Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.