Texas Rangers transactions: Cory Gearrin, righthanded relief pitcher, has been traded to the Oakland A’s for 18 year old righthanded pitcher Teodoro Ortega and 19 year old righthanded pitcher Abdiel Mendoza, the team announced today. Taking Gearrin’s place on the active roster is righthanded relief pitcher Connor Sadzeck, who has been recalled from AAA Round Rock.
Gearrin, 32, was acquired by the Rangers along with minor league righthanded pitcher Jason Bahr in the deal where the Rangers took Austin Jackson and his contract off the hands of the San Francisco Giants. Gearrin had a 4.20 ERA and a 4.86 FIP for San Francisco, which led them to dump him on Texas in this deal, but he’s turned things around with the Rangers, posting a 2.53 ERA and a 3.63 FIP in 21.1 IP over 21 games. In addition, Gearrin is under team control through 2019, which makes him more attractive than he would be as a rental.
The two pitchers coming over from Oakland are both from Panama and both in short season ball. Ortega, listed at 6’0”, 140 lbs., is a righthander who is coming off a successful season in the Dominican Summer League, putting up a 2.11 ERA in 42.2 IP over 14 games, with 48 Ks against 11 walks (albeit with 9 HBPs, so he apparently likes to work inside). I can find nothing about his signing bonus, his repertoire, or anything else in a quick Google search about him.
Mendoza is listed at 5’10”, 160 lbs., and turns 20 in September. He just finished his second season pitching in the New York-Pennsylvania short-season A league, where he put up a 3.32 ERA in 57 IP over 10 starts and 3 relief appearances, with 41 Ks against 22 walks. Oakland Clubhouse has a write-up on him from last December, saying he was “[l]isted at 5’11”, 135 lbs. when he joined the organization,” and which has some positive quotes from their minor league pitching coordinator about him.
Neither pitcher is going to be showing up on any Rangers top 30 prospects lists anytime soon, but they both appear to at least kind of interesting, and represent something to show for a guy the Giants gave away just a couple of months ago.
As for Sadzeck, you guys are probably familiar with him...a hard-throwing 26 year old who was an 11th round pick in 2011, the Rangers added him to the 40 man roster after the 2015 season, but he never made it to the big leagues until now. The Rangers were trying him as a starter until the middle of last year, though he has always profile as more of a relief pitcher.
Sadzeck has a 4.03 ERA in 38 IP for the Express this year, with 43 Ks against 16 walks and 2 home runs allowed. He has a big fastball, but the knock has been that it lacks movement, and he lacks command of it. That said, he is out of options after the 2018 season, so this is a chance for the Rangers to see what he might have and better inform them about whether he might contribute in 2019 and beyond.