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Zach Cone released, Nick Tepesch opts out

Zach Cone and Nick Tepesch are no longer in the Rangers system, and rehab stints for major leaguers are starting

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There are a variety of minor league transactions and rehab stints beginning on the Rangers farm right now.

Zach Cone, the Texas Rangers' supplemental first round draft pick (#37 overall) in the 2011 draft, has been released, per reports on Twitter that have come out today.  This brings an end to a disappointing tenure in the Rangers organization for Cone, who missed virtually the entire 2013 season due to a torn Achilles, and who never really got back on the prospect map afterwards.

Cone was slated to be a minor league free agent after this season anyway, assuming he wasn't going to be added to the 40 man roster, and this would give him the opportunity to pursue other avenues now.

In addition, Nick Tepesch exercised an opt-out clause Saturday, and is now a free agent.  Tepesch, the Rangers' 14th round pick in the 2010 draft, was non-tendered last offseason, but then signed a minor league deal with Texas.  He missed all of 2015, and in 2016, has had a 4.11 ERA in 65.2 IP for Round Rock, but with an alarmingly low K rate of 4.2 per 9.  Tepesch did a soild job of filling in for Texas when they were in dire need of arms to shore up the rotation in 2013-14, putting up a 4.56 ERA in 219 innings in those two years, but Tepesch didn't appear to be in the mix should the major league rotation need a spot starter this year, and with Cesar Ramos and A.J. Griffin emerging as depth options, along with Nick Martinez and Chi Chi Gonzalez already being on the 40 man roster and Kyle Lohse being signed to a minor league deal, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Tepesch.  He will likely be looking to sign a minor league deal with a team that has a greater potential need for major league rotation depth.

On the rehab front, Robinson Chirinos appeared in a game for Round Rock last night, going 1 for 4 while starting at catcher.  Chirinos also played both ends of a double header for Frisco on June 1, catching one game and DHing in another.  Chirinos is eligible to be reinstated from the 60 day disabled list on Thursday, and appears to be on track to be activated, if not then, soon thereafter.  The Rangers will presumably designate Bryan Holaday for assignment when Chirinos is activated, but if one of Holaday or Bobby Wilson isn't DFA'd -- if, for example, Wilson goes on the 15 day disabled list, as has been suggested as a possibility -- the Rangers will have to make a move to clear a 40 man roster spot.

Shin-Soo Choo is also on a rehab assignment, and went 1 for 4 for Frisco last night, after going 0 for 4 on Friday.  Choo is scheduled to play for Round Rock tonight and then Frisco Wednesday night, at which point he could be activated, or continue on a rehab assignment for a while longer.

Finally, A.J. Griffin threw a bullpen this weekend, has apparently been throwing bullpens for over a week, and could be slated to start a rehab assignment as soon as Thursday.  Griffin has been on the d.l. since early May with shoulder soreness, but was off to a great start to the season, putting up a 2.94 ERA in six starts.  With Yu Darvish back and the rest of the rotation performing well, there's no rush to get Griffin back, and so you have to figure the team will keep him on rehab for a while, and perhaps end up activating him and optioning him to AAA as a depth option for the rotation, since Griffin does have options remaining.