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Texas Rangers option Hearn, Burke, Huang, Gardewine, send 5 down

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Seven pitchers, an outfielder and a catcher were sent to the minor league camp by the Rangers today, including Brock Burke and Taylor Hearn

MLB: Texas Rangers-Media Day Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers transactions: Brock Burke, Taylor Hearn, Wei-Chieh Huang and Nick Gardewine were all optioned today, with Hearn and Gardewine going to AAA Nashville and Huang and Burke going to AA Frisco. In addition, Tim Dillard, Yoel Espinal, Ariel Hernandez, Adam Moore and Ben Revere were all assigned to the minor league camp.

None of these nine players were expected to be in contention for an Opening Day roster spot, so these moves aren’t surprising. Burke and Espinal both came over from Tampa Bay in the Jurickson Profar trade, and both have earned good reviews this spring. Burke will be in the AA Frisco rotation, while Hearn, who came over from Pittsburgh in the Keone Kela trade, will apparently start the year in the Nashville rotation.

Gardewine missed most of the 2018 season with an elbow issue, but appears to be slated for the Nashville bullpen, while Huang, who was acquired from Arizona in the Jake Diekman trade, will be in the Roughriders bullpen.

Dillard and Hernandez are minor league depth guys, expected to be in the minors all year barring something exceptional, while Moore was a late sign in camp to provide catching depth. Revere, who was out of the majors in 2018 and who had down years in both 2016 and 2017, was outfield depth, and could end up in the Frisco or Nashville outfield, but seems just as likely to be back on the free agent market in the next couple of weeks.

With these moves, the Rangers now have 50 players in the major league camp.