Rangers tab Matt Harrison as Opening Day starter

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The 2013 season will begin next Sunday night when the Rangers face the Astros at Minute Maid Park at 8:05 p.m. ET. And now we have the pitching matchup locked in.

According to Richard Durrett and Ron Matejko of ESPN Dallas, Rangers manager Ron Washington announced this evening that Matt Harrison will be the club’s Opening Day starter. Bud Norris was already announced as the starter for Houston earlier this week.

This will be the first Opening Day start of Harrison’s career. With a 3.34 ERA and 32 wins over the past two seasons, the 27-year-old southpaw is plenty worthy of the assignment.

Yu Darvish, who posted a 3.90 ERA and 221 strikeouts over 191 1/3 innings in his first season stateside last year, is set to pitch the second game of the season for the Rangers.

Rays acquire Wilmer Font from Athletics

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In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.

This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.

Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.