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Joe Saunders expected to sign with Texas Rangers

Per Evan Grant, the Rangers are expected to sign free agent pitcher Joe Saunders

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Saunders is expected to sign a deal with the Texas Rangers in the next day or two, according to Evan Grant.

Saunders, a 32 year old lefthanded pitcher, is expected to battle for a job in the team's starting rotation.  Grant doesn't indicate whether this would be a major league deal or a minor league deal.

Saunders, who put up a 5.26 ERA in 183 innings for the Mariners last season, would be battling, among others, Tommy Hanson, who put up a 5.42 ERA in 73 innings for the Angels last year.  The rotation is in flux currently, with Yu Darvish and Martin Perez locked in, but Matt Harrison expected to miss a start or two at the start of the year, Derek Holland out until the middle of the season, and Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers, and Jose Contreras in the mix along with Hanson and, now, Saunders.

UPDATE -- Per Jon Heyman, Saunders is getting a major league deal, which means the Rangers will have to drop someone from their 40 man roster to make room for him.

UPDATE -- Per Joel Sherman, Saunders' deal is non-guaranteed, which means that, if the Rangers release him before Opening Day, they aren't on the hook for significant salary.  This is similar to Hanson's deal, where Hanson is guaranteed just $125K if he is released before the season starts.