The Texas Rangers have acquired catcher Bobby Wilson from the Detroit Tigers, according to John Blake on Twitter. Wilson has been acquired for lefthanded pitcher Chad Bell. To make room for Wilson on the 40 man roster, the Rangers have designated Chris Gimenez for assignment.
This is an unexpected series of events. Wilson, 33, was traded to the Detroit Tigers right before the start of the season, along with righthanded pitcher Myles Jaye (who had been acquired back in December by the Rangers from the ChiSox for lefty reliever Will Lamb), for catcher Bryan Holaday. Wilson then was brought up to the majors in early April, and has appeared in five games for Detroit, putting up a .154/.200/.154 slash line. Wilson was acquired by the Rangers in 2015 on waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays, and he ended up splitting time behind the plate with Gimenez over the final two months of the season.
Gimenez was on a rehab assignment with AA Frisco, after missing the start of the year due to a leg infection. I think most of us assumed he would be activated this week, and that Brett Nicholas would be optioned to AAA. But apparently, the Rangers prefer Wilson to Gimenez, so much so that they were willing to part with Chad Bell to get him.
Bell, 27, was a 14th round pick of the Rangers out of Walters State Community College in the 2009 draft. He missed all of 2013 due to Tommy John surgery, and had been working his way back up the organizational ladder the past couple of seasons. Bell has appeared in 5 games for Round Rock this season, throwing 18 IP, striking out 19 and walking 5, with a 1.50 ERA. I had actually thought that he was showing enough to potentially get a look in the bullpen at some point this season for the Rangers. Apparently not.
Wilson will, per Blake, join the Rangers tomorrow, when a 25 man roster move will be announced. Were I to guess, I'd say that Nicholas will be optioned, but it is possible that Holaday isn't healthy and will be headed to the d.l. Regardless, this is an odd move.
UPDATE -- Interesting item from Evan Grant, who notes that, while Gimenez gets $975,000 while in the majors, and thus is unlikely to get claimed, he gets $300,000 on the minor league portion of his deal, making it more likely he accepts the assignment to AAA. This is similar to the situation with Justin Ruggiano, where the Rangers DFA'd him after a short term in the majors, knowing they would likely be able to stash him in AAA because of the hefty minor league portion of the deal.
Generous minor league dollars on split deals is the new OBP.