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Nick Goody, Rangers agree on one year deal

Relief pitcher Nick Goody has decided not to opt for free agency, and is now a Texas Ranger

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Texas Rangers transactions: Nick Goody has accepted his assignment to the Texas Rangers pursuant to their claiming him on waivers, the team announced today. This means that Goody is now on the 40 man roster, which currently stands at 40.

Goody, 28, is a righthanded reliever who was claimed on waivers by the Rangers last week. Because the Cleveland Indians, his original team, had requested release waivers on Goody, he had the right to decline to accept being claimed by the Rangers, and instead become a free agent. Goody is arbitration-eligible this offseason, and is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $1.1 million for 2020.

I kind of glossed over Goody when the Rangers claimed him, primarily because I thought he was likely to opt for free agency. Goody was a 6th round draft pick of the New York Yankees out of LSU in 2012 (as well as a 22nd round draft pick of the Yankees in 2011 out of junior college). He put up a 4.67 ERA and a 5.11 FIP in 34.2 IP in 2015-16 for New York before he was sent to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later in December, 2016, having been designated for assignment by the Yankees in order to clear a 40 man roster spot for Aroldis Chapman.

Goody had a 2.80 ERA/3.45 FIP in 54.2 IP in 2017 out of the bullpen, then put up a 6.94 ERA in 11.2 IP in 2018 while missing most of the season due to elbow inflammation. In 2019, Goody put up a 3.54 ERA/4.62 FIP in 40.2 IP for the Indians in the majors, and a 7.77 ERA/6.95 FIP in 24.1 IP in AAA.

Goody is a fastball/slider guy who historically has been right around 50/50 in his usage of the two pitches, with his fastball averaging 92.1 mph during his career, per Fangraphs, with his slider at 82.9 mph. Statcast shows Goody as having a .255 xwOBA in 2019, compared to a .295 wOBA, so there’s some indication he pitched better last year than his ERA and FIP would suggest.

The decision to put in a claim on Goody was mildly surprising to me, given that the Rangers have a number of righthanded relief options in-house already. Goody is out of options, as is Rafael Montero, so those two pitchers can’t be sent down without clearing waivers. Jesse Chavez is also under contract for 2020, and Jose Leclerc would not appear to be going anywhere. Assuming that the Rangers 1) keep two lefthanders in the bullpen, and 2) go with a 13 man pitching staff (and remember, even with the 26 man roster next year, teams can’t have more than 13 pitchers on the active roster), that would leave two righty bullpen spots open for 2020.

The other noteworthy aspect of this is that, by virtue of Goody accepting the Rangers’ claim, the 40 man roster is full. Kyle Gibson has reportedly agreed to a free agent contract with the Rangers, but that move isn’t official yet — nevertheless, that should happen in the next day or two, which will mean the Rangers will need to clear a 40 man roster spot to make room for Gibson.

While all the arbitration-eligible players are expected to be tendered contracts by today’s 7 p.m. deadline, Texas could non-tender a player who is currently on the 40 man roster but not arbitration-eligible today, in order to avoid running them through waivers. We discussed that possibility on Friday, and it seems likely that someone on the roster bubble, such as Luke Farrell or Wei-Chieh Huang, could be non-tendered today in order to clear a spot for Gibson.

UPDATE — The Rangers have agreed to terms on a one year deal with Goody. Per the beats, it is for $915,000.