Minor League Baseball has a list of pending minor league free agents up...
Jon Daniels has already said that, with the depth in the major league pen and the upper minors, he doesn't expect to have the same sort of cattle call wave of NRI pitchers this year that the Rangers have done in past years, but there will no doubt be some guys added as insurance and to fill out the Frisco and Oklahoma rosters.
Scanning the list, some guys whose names jumped out at me for one reason or another...
Terry Adams -- Journeyman reliever-type who turns 34 before the 2007 starts, and who had some decent seasons with the Cubs and the Dodgers. According to Baseball Reference, he's made over $13 million in the majors in his career, so I don't imagine he's sticking around for the money. He's a guy that a team like Pittsburgh or Kansas City could pick up and stick in the pen, hope he has a solid first half of the season, then see if someone like Wayne Krivsky will overpay for him come July.
Kurt Ainsworth -- TNSTAAPP, Exhibit 481. Former first rounder, the big prize the Orioles got when they traded Sidney Ponson to the Giants in 2003, he's been hurt and a bust.
Edgardo Alfonzo -- It is weird when you see a player who was legitimately great -- even for a short time -- on a list like this.
Chad Allen -- Maybe he can be on the Redhawks 2007 roster, if he promises not to badmouth organizational pets anymore.
Mike Bacsik -- Hey, he used to pitch for the Rangers! And so did his dad!
Aarom Baldaris -- Now, tell me again...why did we put in a waiver claim on this guy?
Rob Bell -- Still searching for his Loch Ness Curve, I imagine. And remember, Doug Melvin gave up Ruben Mateo AND Edwin Encarnacion for Bell...
Alan Benes -- Hey, he used to pitch -- very badly, and very briefly -- for the Rangers!
Peter Bergeron -- Once upon a time, it looked like he was going to be real, real good. He was #40 on the BA Top 100 prospect list in 1999, right behind, among others, Gabe Kapler, (#34), Rob Bell (#35), and Alfonso Soriano (#39).
Jason Bourgeois -- Another former Ranger prospect. The similarities between him and Jason Romano, in terms of their prospect arcs, are eerie.
Dewon Brazelton -- TNSTAAPP. Even a PP selected ahead of Mark Teixeira in the draft.
Dee Brown -- Another flamed out former prospect. He actually had a pretty decent season in AA, then didn't hit in AAA. Given the lack of corner outfielders in the system, I wouldn't mind the Rangers bringing him in to play for Oklahoma.
Travis Chapman -- What happened to him? Wasn't he supposed to be good, a couple of years ago? The Tigers snagged him in the Rule 5 draft, then he went back to Philly, then he disappeared. He's gotten almost no playing time the last couple of years...I guess he's been hurt, or something.
Jermaine Clark -- Hey, another former Ranger! Half of the swag from the Mariners for Ismael Valdez, in fact...
Mike Coolbaugh -- He's still around? The Rangers selected him from the Blue Jays in the minor league Rule 5 draft 11 years ago. You'd think he'd have retired. He's 34, and continues to hit AAA pitching...come to think of it, I'm a little surprised he never got a shot anywhere.
Wil Cordero -- In case someone needs a wifebeater on their team, Cordero is now available.
Bryan Corey -- Hey, that guy used to pitch for the Rangers!
Bubba Crosby -- How do you go from being a starting outfielder for a division-winning team to a minor league free agent in less than a month?
Enrique Cruz -- The guy we got from the Brewers for Brian Shouse. Enrique, we hardly knew ye...
Ryan Cullen -- Remember when we traded a couple of A-ball pitchers to the A's for Randy Velarde? Well, Cullen is the guy who didn't come back and bite us in the ass.
Gookie Dawkins -- Yes, the Gookie Dawkins.
Joselo Diaz -- The guy the Rangers traded for Matt Stairs. So, if any of you are really concerned that the Rangers gave up something of value for Stairs, they now have the opportunity to bring him back.
Justin Echols -- Former Ranger pitching prospect, and part of Einar Diaz trade #2.
Rashad Eldridge -- A guy I've liked more than most, who got released by the Rangers earlier this year. After what appeared to be a breakout year for him in 2005, he just flat didn't hit anywhere in 2006. He just turned 25 a few days ago, though, and is someone I think could end up being another Craig Monroe or Marcus Thames-type, somewhere.
Vince Faison -- Another one of those, "hey, wasn't this guy supposed to be good?" types. Like Ainsworth, a first rounder in the 1999 draft. San Diego sent him to the Mariners as part of the Jeff Cirillo trade, when Seattle found a taker for their particular bad penny.
Ryan Fleming -- Another guy who wandered through the Ranger organization. He was in Frisco for the 2003 season.
Jason Fransz -- And yet another former Ranger farmhand, acquired for Doug Glanville in the halcyon days of 2003, when the Rangers had guys like Donnie Sadler, Ryan Christianson, and Ruben Sierra getting regular playing time, and Tony Mounce and R.A. Dickey were rotation regulars. Those were the days, weren't they?
Mike Gallo -- I have to tell you, no one in Houston is going to be sad to see Mike Gallo leave. I think he's been the most hated Astro since Jay Powell's heyday.
Yamid Haad -- A catcher for the Giants. I've never heard of him, but I was the Rangers to pick him up, just because his name is cool.
Joel Hanrahan -- Another in the "hey, didn't this guy used to be good?" category. Threw a couple of no-hitters in the Dodgers' system in 2002, had a 2.43 ERA and a K per inning in AA at age 21 in 2003, and then seems to have fallen apart. Doesn't seem to have had injury problems, though, and throws hard, which makes him someone to look at as a possible bullpen reclamation project.
Jason Hart -- I think Rangers fans know this story pretty well. Hopefully, he'll get a chance to stick somewhere.
Ken Harvey -- He was the Royals' All-Star representative in 2004. Let's hear it for the Kansas City Royals, folks!!!
Jeff Heaverlo -- Remember a few years ago, when the Mariners had so many great pitching prospects that the Rangers should just give up competing until 2010? Heaverlo was one of those guys.
Carlos Hernandez -- And yet another pitcher whose career was ruined by shoulder problems, although in this case, it was a rotator cuff torn because of sliding into second base head first. Yet another reason pitchers shouldn't bat.
Bobby Hill -- Remember when Dusty Baker was getting ripped for not playing Bobby Hill a few years ago? How it was evidence of his anti-young'un bias? Well, maybe Dusty was right, on this occasion...
Chris Jaile -- Another once-was Ranger. Still trying to make it as a pitcher, it appears.
Jonathan Johnson -- Former FSU pitcher and 1995 Ranger first round draft pick, who pitched in the Braves system last year. The guy the Rangers picked one slot ahead of Todd Helton, five slots ahead of Matt Morris, and ten slots ahead of Roy Halladay. Let's move on.
Bobby M. Jones -- The former Mets and Padres lefty pitcher. Not to be confused with Bobby J. Jones, the former Mets and Padres righty pitcher.
Kenny Kelly -- Former UofMiami Hurricane QB turned toolsy outfielder who can't hit.
Brandon Knight -- Half the cost of Chad Curtis, lo these many years ago. Curtis is a meaningful former Ranger, because without him here, "The Thong Song" would have no place in screwed-up Ranger lore.
Ben Kozlowski -- TNSTAAPP. Sigh. Koz's fate makes me sad.
Brandon Larson -- Former Ranger, for a month or two, either this year or last year. I thought he retired?
Jon Leicester -- I forgot all about him. The Rangers got him in exchange for a PTBNL from the Cubs, who I ended up being Clint Brannon. He was hurt all year.
Jose Lima -- It's Lima Time!!!
Mark Little -- Another one of those former Rangers about whom I ask, "Isn't he about 40 by now?" He's 34, and his claim to fame is that he was part of the Fernando Tatis trade that brought Royce Clayton and Todd Stottlemyer to Texas. And without Royce Clayton, there's no "The Thong Song" episode, either. So really, Brandon Knight and Mark Little are inexorably tied together...
Ryan Ludwick -- Part of the famous Carlos Pena/Mario Ramos trade, where basically every player in that deal other than Gerald Laird ended up being a spectacular bust. Still think Ludwick could, like Eldridge, be a decent platoon/4th outfielder somewhere.
Spike Lundberg -- If you don't know who Spike Lundberg is, then you obviously haven't been reading the Newberg Report.
Corwin Malone -- One of the players the Rangers could have gotten in the Carl Everett deal. They ended up claiming Ruddy Yan, one of the other players they could have gotten from the ChiSox, sometime later, so maybe they'll add Malone this offseason.
Quinton McCracken -- He's not good, but his name is pretty cool.
Donaldo Mendez -- A Rule 5 pick of the Padres from the Astros back in the 2000-1 offseason. He never hit for the Padres, either in the majors in 2001 or in the minors the next two years, got released after 2003, and has bounced around.
Ramiro Mendoza -- Ramiro Mendoza? Wasn't he a really good reliever not long ago? I remember, when I first moved to Houston, discussions amongst Astros fans about whether it would be worth sending Lance Berkman to the Yankees to get Mendoza (which was a hot rumor at the time). I think Astros fans are glad they passed.
Frank Menechino -- Again, wasn't he the A's starting second baseman a year or so ago? What happened?
Pete Munro -- Hey, he used to pitch for the Rangers!!!
Clint Nageotte -- See "Jeff Heaverlo."
C.J. Nitkowski -- Hey, he used to pitch for the Rangers!!! Seriously, isn't this guy 40? (Note -- I looked it up, and he's only 33).
Gerry Oakes -- I mention him only because he's listed as a Ranger minor league free agent, and I've never heard of him.
Jose Offerman -- Offerman is ancient. I can't believe he's still in the game. In 1990, he was BA's #10 prospect in all of baseball. The guys ahead of him: Steve Avery, Ben McDonald, John Olerud, Juan Gonzalez, Sandy Alomar, Jr., Kiki Jones, Todd Zeile, Eric Anthony, and Greg Vaughn. The next year, he was 4th, behind Todd Van Poppel, Andujar Cedeno, and Ryan Klesko (with Ranger prospect Dan Peltier checking in at #100). Amazing, he's still toiling in the minors...
Christopher O'Riordan -- Former Ranger draft pick, a guy there was briefly some buzz around.
Matt Perisho -- Old lefties never die...oh, and this guy used to pitch for the Rangers!!!
Josh Phelps -- Still surprised he hasn't stuck somewhere as a 1B/DH type. He could probably go to Japan and put up huge numbers.
Mark Quinn -- A sleeper pick of mine in my very first Ranger boardie Fantasy Baseball League. I was looking good in mid-May, when he was at the top of the league in homers. Then he cratered.
Mario Ramos -- See "Ryan Ludwick."
Tim Redding -- Another of the "didn't this guy used to be good?" players. In the words of Crash Davis, million dollar arm, ten cent head.
Michael Restovich -- Another of these random corner outfielders who, given a chance, could be Craig Monroe or Marcus Thames.
Ruben Rivera -- Hey, if GMJ leaves, maybe we can bring him back to play centerfield for us...
Ricardo Rodriguez -- Another guy whose career seemingly went South overnight. He showed some flashes with the Rangers, but they seemingly have no interest in him coming back...
Jim Rushford -- Former Indy League refugee that Doug Melving brought to Texas once upon a time.
Donnie Sadler -- You know what epitomizes Buck Showalter's tenure with the Rangers? His comment, back in 2003, that he needed to find more ways to get Donnie Sadler into the lineup.
Juan Senreiso -- Another former Ranger, another toolsy outfielder who couldn't hit above A-ball. Still young, and maybe he'll change his mind about converting to pitching.
Dennis Tankersley -- TNSTAAPP, #817. He went from non-prospect to stud prospect to bust in record time, though.
Michael Tejera -- Hey, that guy used to pitch for the Rangers!!!
Terry Tiffee -- Another guy where I just like his name. I think, if I were a g.m., I'd put together a minor league team just from guys whose name I liked. Esix Snead would be my leadoff hitter.
Chris Truby -- Another guy I didn't even realize was still in baseball.
Nick Trzesniak -- Here's what I don't get...the Rangers supposedly moneywhipped him to sign him as a minor league free agent this past offseason, then showed no interest in actually keeping him around, ultimately shipping him to Florida. What was the point?
Mike Venafro -- See "Ryan Ludwick."
Brandon Villafuerte -- Hey, this guy used to pitch for the Rangers!!! And we got him for Matt Perisho, of all people...
Ryan Vogelsong -- TNSTAAPP, #731. Like Ainsworth, a former Giants prospect they dealt for trade deadline help, and then got hurt.
Matt Whiteside -- 39 years old, and still hanging in there, years after sucking in the Ranger pen. Whiteside was on the Rangers at the same time as Nolan Ryan, John Cangelosi, Dickie Thon, and Monty Farris. And he's still around...
Esteban Yan -- Oh, Yanny...let's bring him back, for old time sakes...
Ruddy Yan -- Sad news for miles, as Ruddy Yan is apparently hitting the road...