Rangers ink Brett Tomko to minor league contract

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Big news out of Rangers camp. OK, not really.

According to the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, Texas has agreed to a minor league contract with veteran right-hander Brett Tomko.

The 37-year-old hasn’t pitched in a major league game since September 2009 and is still recovering from the nerve problem that cost him all of the 2010 season.

The Rangers are hoping that he will be ready to contribute in some fashion by the middle of May.

Tomko, a second round pick of the Reds all the way back in 1995, posted a 3.77 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 33/13 K/BB ratio over 57 1/3 innings for the Athletics and Yankees in his last full season. He may have a little something left, but he will probably have to do some serious damage at Triple-A Round Rock this year before the Rangers give him a look in the big league bullpen.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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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.