The Texas Rangers acquired outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Chicago White Sox today for cash considerations. Tocci, 22, was selected by the White Sox from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Rule 5 draft. Because he is a Rule 5 selection, the Rangers will have to keep Tocci on the major league roster for all of 2018, or offer him back to the Phillies for $50,000.
Tocci hit .307/.362/.398 in AA in 2017, and is considered a very good defensive center fielder who has the arm to play right field as well. With the Rangers only having one center fielder on their 40 man roster currently — Delino DeShields -- Tocci has a chance to stick as a late inning defensive replacement, though the odds would seem to be against him.
With Tocci, the Rangers’ 40 man roster is at 38, and will go to 39 when the Chris Martin signing is official.
The Rangers lost pitcher/outfielder Anthony Gose to the Houston Astros in the Rule 5 draft. The Rangers just signed Gose to a minor league contract a couple of weeks ago, so its odd that the Astros would draft him, since they theoretically could have signed him to a major league contract themselves if they wanted. In any case, he also seems unlikely to stick, and will likely be back with the Rangers’ organization at the end of spring training.
In other moves, the Rangers announced they re-signed infielder Hanser Alberto to a minor league contract, and signed pitcher Kevin Jepsen to a minor league contract. Alberto had been non-tendered a couple of weeks ago, but the Rangers and Alberto each had interested in a reunion, and Alberto will come to the major league camp with an opportunity to win a utility job after spending all of 2017 on the disabled list due to shoulder surgery.
Jepsen, 33, is a righthanded reliever who was a 2nd round pick of the Angels in 2004, and has 448 career games in the majors, with a 3.92 ERA. He split the 2016 season between Minnesota and Tampa, putting up a 5.98 ERA and a 6.15 FIP, and pitched for the Nationals’ AAA affiliate in 2017. He will presumably be in the mix for a bullpen job, and is likely slated to be minor league depth.
UPDATE — In his Rule 5 recap, Keith Law has praise for the Rangers snagging Tocci, who he says is a fourth outfielder right now.