The Texas Rangers announced the signing of Matt Bush, Tim Dillard, Zac Curtis and Chase d’Arnaud to minor league contracts today. All four players have invitations to major league spring training.
Bush is obviously the most prominent name here. The 32 year old former #1 overall pick who spent time in prison and converted to pitching was a major success story in 2016, when he put up a 2.48 ERA and a 2.74 FIP in 61 innings out of the bullpen for the Rangers. He regressed some in 2017, however, and then had a disappointing 2018 season that saw him get sent to the minors and then miss the end of the season with an elbow issue. Bush had surgery on a partially torn UCL that is going to cost him the first half of the 2019 season.
Bush was non-tendered last month, a surprising move given that he was not yet arbitration-eligible, but there was some thought at the time that he and the team may have had an agreement for him to re-sign on a minor league deal after the Rule 5 draft, which was on Thursday. Bush will be rehabbing early on this year, and will likely get a chance to perform in the major league bullpen once he is healthy.
Curtis, 26, is a lefthanded reliever claimed on waivers by the Rangers in August, 2018, who was also non-tendered last month. He has a career 4.74 ERA and 5.97 FIP in 38 innings in the majors, and likely will have a chance to earn a roster spot in the bullpen in spring training.
Dillard, 35, has 73 career games in the majors, all with Milwaukee from 2008-12. He’s spent his entire career in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization...interestingly, he was drafted by the Brewers in 2001 in the 15th round, and didn’t sign, but did sign the following year with the Brewers after they took him in the 34th round. He’s been granted free agency and re-signed with the Brewers four times, and has spent the last several seasons pitching for their AAA team. He is presumably bullpen depth for Nashville.
D’Arnaud, 31, is an infielder who has bounced between the majors and the minors in his career. He has a career .222/.273/.316 slash line in 599 plate appearances in the majors. He’s a utility infielder candidate and infield depth for Nashville.