Rick Bauer has been designated for assignment, with the Rangers purchasing the contract of minor league infielder Adam Fox.
Bauer being DFA'd isn't exactly news...the whole reason the Rangers didn't non-tender him this winter was so that they could try to deal him this spring.
The Rangers now have 10 days to trade Bauer, waive him, or release him.
So, the question is...why today? And why purchase the contract of Fox?
On the first part, I am guessing that it is timing...the Rangers, I think, want to have a few days to try to negotiate with teams and cut a deal, and if they don't find something appealing, see if they can sneak him through waivers in the first couple of days of the season, when teams have set their final 25 man rosters and are presumably less inclined to put in a waiver claim.
On the second...well, there are a couple of possibilities.
First, there is a rule that to DFA a player, the 40 man roster must be full. If Alexi Ogando was already on the restricted list, that would put the 40 man roster at 39. Thus, to DFA Bauer (and have 10 days to make a move), the Rangers would have to add Adam Fox.
Of course, the Astacio claim would bump the Rangers to 41, necessitating a move, but presumably, the Rangers wouldn't have known that they won the waiver claim when they did the Bauer/Fox do-see-do. Also, it seems like they could have purchased the contract of Sammy Sosa or Jerry Hairston, Jr., instead, since both those guys are making the roster.
Secondly, Fox could be making the 25 man roster as a backup infielder. The possibility of that seems remote.
Third, there could be some other arcane situation I'm not aware of.
Really, though, I think it is #1 that led to Fox's contract being purchased. The Rangers did something similar with Jeff Pickler a few years ago, purchasing his contract to DFA another player, then putting Pickler through waivers. Fox is unlikely to be claimed, so it is a safe move.