The Texas Rangers have released first baseman James Loney, according to John Blake on Twitter. In addition, per Blake, the Rangers have optioned pitcher Eddie Gamboa to AAA Round Rock, and have re-assigned outfielder Jared Hoying to the minor league camp.
Loney’s release was, I think, expected...the Rangers would have owed him a $100,000 bonus under the CBA if they didn’t add him to the major league roster, and with Ronald Guzman and Joey Gallo in AAA, plus Mike Napoli, Ryan Rua, and Jurickson Profar in the majors, there simply wasn’t going to be any realistic path to Loney playing a role on this team. There had been some discussion that he might stick as a lefty bench bat, but with Drew Robinson’s emergence and the makeup of the major league roster, even that role didn’t seem to be an option.
Gamboa and Hoying are guys who were on the fringe of the roster battles, and who you could make arguments for being on the Opening Day roster, but who were always likely destined for AAA. Gamboa will presumably be in the rotation as pitching depth, and Hoying will be the center fielder for the Round Rock Express. I wouldn’t be surprised if both ended up in the majors with Texas at some point later this season.