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Former Rangers floating about

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As teams continue clearly out the flotsam and jetsam from their 40 man roster, we are continuing to see various and sundry former Rangers show up on the transaction wire...

Last week, the Brewers dropped former Rangers Victor Santos, Julio Santana, and Chris Magruder from the 40 man roster, with all three refusing the outright assignment to the minors and becoming free agents.

Santos was with the Rangers in 2003, one of the more anonymous random arms in a season full of anonymous random arms, mixing in with Robert Ellis and Mickey Callaway and Tony Mounce and R.A. Dickey and C.J. Nitkowski in a veritable smorgasborg of craptacular quadruple-A pitchers who come through town that year.

Julio Santana was the great Dominican hope, pitching prospect division, in the early-90s. A former outfielder converted to pitcher, Santana was the Rangers' #1 prospect per BA in 1995 (and ended up being the most successful major league on that particular top 10 list), and the #2 prospect (behind the immortal Andrew Vessel) in 1996. That's probably all you need to know to understand why the Rangers started sucking so quickly come the turn of the century -- when the best major leaguers from a team's BA top ten lists over a four year period are Ryan Dempster, Fernando Tatis, Julio Santana, Dan Kolb, Joaquin Benoit, and Benji Gil, that's a pretty clear sign that the farm system was awful. And the Rangers' collapse coincided with when the players produced by the farm system over that time frame would have been in their 2nd-3rd-4th-5th years in the majors.

Then there is Chris Magruder, the spoils (along with Erasmo Ramirez) from the Andres Galarraga trade back in 2001. Magruder ended up getting flipped to Cleveland for Rashad Eldridge, who has become one of the more under-the-radar prospects for the Rangers. Magruder has now been cast back out into the free agent wilderness. After almost 600 major league plate appearances, he seems to have proved to everyone's satisfaction that he can't hit.

Also on the former Ranger front, the Manny-rific Manny Alexander has been released by the Padres, and Jason Tyner has been signed to a minor league deal by the Twins. Definitely a good news/bad news combo...the bad news is that Alexander may return to the Rangers organization, where there is always the outside chance that Buck will want him sparing us to death at the major league level, rather than just sparing Redhawks fans to death in Oklahoma. But the good news is that Jason Tyner's signing with the Twins means that he can't come here, and make us all re-live the horror which was spring training, 2003, when it appeared that Jason Tyner might actually be on the Rangers Opening Day roster.