Joe Blanton’s retirement didn’t last very long.
Blanton called it quits in April after getting released by the Angels and struggling at Triple-A for the A’s, but there were reports of him reconsidering almost immediately and now he’s officially back.
Or at least trying to find another gig.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Blanton is “holding an open workout” for interested teams on February 4 and is now “motivated to pitch.”
Blanton is 34 years old and it’s been a long time since he’s pitched better than a fifth starter, but he’d make sense as rotation depth for plenty of teams on a minor-league contract. He’s made nearly $40 million during his career.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.