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Tom Wilhelmsen declines minor league assignment, is a free agent

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Per the beat folks on Twitter, Tom Wilhelmsen has become a free agent after clearing waivers and declining a minor league assignment

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen has declined a minor league assignment and become a free agent, per the beat folks on Twitter.

This is a little bit confusing, as initial reports indicated that Wilhelmsen had been optioned to AAA.  Apparently, the Rangers also waived him and sought to outright him, which Wilhelmsen was apparently eligible to decline.  As a result, Wilhelmsen is now a free agent.

Wilhelmsen was acquired along with James Jones and Patrick Kivlehan in the trade that sent Leonys Martin to the Seattle Mariners.  Jones was non-tendered (and then re-signed to a minor league deal), while Kivlehan was designated for assignment and traded back to the M's for a player to be named later, who turned out to be minor league reliever Justin De Fratus.  With Wilhelmsen now departing after putting up a 10.55 ERA in his stint with Texas, its fair to say this is a deal we can put in the "loss" column.

The Rangers now have an open 40 man roster spot, and the question is going to be what, if anything the Rangers are going to do to fill that spot.  There's already speculation that Kyle Lohse, currently in a minor league deal, could be called up to start for Texas on Saturday...but unless Yu Darvish's shoulder issue is more serious than earlier reported, there's not spot for Lohse in the rotation long-term, and he doesn't seem to be someone you'd use in a relief role.  In addition, Lohse is currently sporting a 5.35 ERA in 33.2 IP over 6 starts for Round Rock, with 25 Ks against 9 walks and 4 home runs.