The Rangers have signed five players to minor league deals...catchers Jamie Burke and Nick Trzesniak, outfielder Adam Hyzdu, and pitchers Chris Baker and Shane Bazzell.
The Trzesniak deal is particularly interesting, since the Rangers apparently money-whipped him to get him away from the Padres, with a deal that "blew away" any other offers.
Trezesniak's career minor league stats are underwhelming, although he is just 24, and was a sandwich pick after the first round in 1999, immediately between Brian Roberts and Carl Crawford. By all accounts, he's a very good defensive catcher.
The fact that they spent so much to get him is curious, given that the Rangers figure to have Mike Nickeas catching at AA in 2006, Taylor Teagarden at high-A, and there has been some thought that Gerald Laird would end up back at AAA next season.
It seems unlikely the Rangers would spend big (comparatively speaking) bucks for a guy to be a backup at AAA. My guess is that the signing signals that either Gerald Laird will be with the big club in 2006, and Trzesniak will be the AAA starter and provide insurance in case someone goes down, or else that Laird is on his way out.