Texas Rangers transactions: Leody Taveras, Tyler Phillips, Demarcus Evans, Sherten Apostel, Kyle Cody and Anderson Tejeda were added to the 40 man roster today by the Rangers, it was announced. There were only four open 40 man roster spots, so to clear two spots, the Rangers designated C.D. Pelham and Taylor Guerrieri for assignment.
Taveras, Phillips, Evans and Apostel were identified earlier today as being added by the beat guys. Tejeda, a 21 year old shortstop who converted to switch hitting this year, seemed st the start of 2019 to be a no-brainer to be added, but a bad 2019 that was cut short by shoulder surgery made him more of a bubble guy. Cody, a 25 year old righthanded starter, had a breakout 2017 campaign but then missed most of 2018 and all of 2019 with a UCL injury that necessitated Tommy John surgery. He seemed like a likely candidate to be exposed, given he has essentially not pitched for two years, but the Rangers apparently saw too much risk in a team grabbing him, starting him on the injured list, and then sending him on a lengthy rehab assignment before calling him up.
Apostel and Cody should be eligible for a fourth option, since neither has played more than full professional season (defined as at least 90 days on an active roster).
Righthanded reliever Joe Barlow and IF/OF Eli White are the other two players seem as potential candidates to be added before tonight’s deadline to protect Rule 5 eligible players. Barlow is a hard throwing righthander who struggled with his command after moving to AAA, while White is a versatile defender who didn’t hit in AAA. They will each be eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft next month.
As for the DFA’d players, Pelham is a big left handed reliever who rocketed up the ladder last year, making his major league debut, but had an awful 2019 season, being unable to throw strikes consistently while also showing significantly lower velocity. He seemed like a potential 40 man roster casualty this offseason, and it may be that the Rangers think they can sneak him through waivers now and outright him, when 40 man rosters are fuller and a lot of guys are hitting the wire.
Guerrieri was an arm signed to a minor league deal last winter who seemed destined to end up on the waiver wire this winter. If he clears waivers he can reject an outright assignment and become a free agent.