The Texas Rangers have claimed infielder Pete Kozma off of waivers from the New York Yankees, according to John Blake on Twitter. Kozma was designated for assignment when the Yankees activated Didi Gregorious from the disabled list.
Kozma, 29, was a first round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2007 draft. He has a career .221/.286/.290 slash line in 699 major league plate appearances, and can play all the infield positions, though he isn’t considered to be particularly good defensively at any of those positions.
Kozma will be added to the 25 man roster when he reports, and my assumption is that this spells the end of Jurickson Profar on the 25 man roster. Kozma gives the Rangers a veteran backup shortstop who is used to sitting on the end of the bench and rarely playing, which appears to be the priority at this point. Profar will presumably go down to AAA and play regularly and see if he can get his bat going, at which point I have to assume the Rangers will plan on using him as trade bait come July (if no infielder on the major league roster gets hurt).
Theoretically, the Rangers could option Nick Martinez to make room for Kozma, then send Profar down and activate A.J. Griffin when that spot in the rotation comes up, but my guess is that Profar’s headed back to Round Rock.