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Texas Rangers sign McKenry, Veal to minor league deals

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The Texas Rangers have announced they've signed catcher Michael McKenry and LHP Donnie Veal to minor league deals

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have signed catcher Michael McKenry and lefthanded reliever Donnie Veal to minor league contracts, according to John Blake on Twitter.  McKenry is an NRI for spring training, per Blake.

These both look to be depth moves -- McKenry is righthanded hitting catcher who turns 31 in March, and who has been in the majors since 2010 with the Rockies and the Pirates.  Evan Grant notes that McKenry was in Pittsburgh at the same time as Jeff Banister, where he put up a .226/.293/.381 line in 598 plate appearances for the Pirates from 2011-13.

My guess is that McKenry comes to camp as a nominal competitor for the backup catcher job, with him likely playing at AAA Round Rock and providing insurance in case Robinson Chirinos or Chris Gimenez get injured.

Veal, meanwhile, is a big lefthander who was a 2nd round pick of the Cubs in 2005, and was at one time seen as an intriguing prospect.  Pittsburgh selected him in the Rule 5 draft in 2008, but he never has erally panned out, putting up a 5.48 ERA in 69 IP in his major league career.  Veal spent some time in the Independent Atlantic League last year, and the lack of an invite to major league camp suggests he's a AA or AAA bullpen arm.