The Texas Rangers have officially signed reliever Tony Barnette to a two year deal with a club option, per a John Blake tweet this morning. In addition, Blake says that the Rangers have signed catcher Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal.
We learned about Barnette, a righthanded reliever who has been in Japan the last six years, last week -- he likely will be in the mix for a middle relief role, and his presence would potentially give the Rangers the flexibility to deal one of their current relievers for a starting pitcher. He's not someone who looks like a game-changer, but he provides additional bullpen depth.
Similarly, Wilson is a depth move -- the Rangers don't have any legitimate catching prospects in the minors, and so are going to need a couple of guys at AAA Round Rock who they can turn to if something happens to either Robinson Chirinos or Chris Gimenez. Wilson, who turns 33 at the beginning of the 2016 season, appeared in 31 games for the Rangers last season after being claimed by the Rays. My guess is Texas will sign someone else to share AAA catching duties with him.
UPDATE -- Jeff Wilson tweets the details of the Barnette contract:
#Rangers to pay new reliever Tony Barnette $3.5 million -- $1.5 million in 2016, $1.75 million in 2017, $250,000 buyout in 2018.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) December 15, 2015
That's a pretty minimal financial commitment, and allows the team to use him as a depth guy who could potentially be sent down during the year if needed.