Texas Rangers transactions: Kyle Bird has been optioned to AAA Nashville, the Rangers announced today. No corresponding move was announced today, but will be announced on Tuesday.
Most likely, the corresponding move will be Joey Gallo being activated from the injured list on Tuesday. He has been on a rehab assignment with the AZL Rangers, and Tuesday has been the day pointed to for some time as the day he was expected to return. With an off day tomorrow, I expect that Asdrubal Cabrera’s appeal of his four game suspension will be heard on Monday, which will mean that whether it is four games or a lower number, Cabrera will begin serving his suspension on Tuesday.
Because the Rangers cannot replace Cabrera on the active roster while he serves his suspension, the Rangers will be effectively playing with a 24 man roster while he is out. Texas isn’t going to want to go with a two man bench, which is what they would be left with if a position player is sent down to make room for Gallo, so Bird, who was called up when Drew Smyly was designated for assignment, goes down instead.
I had assumed that Locke St. John, the other lefty reliever called up at the same time as Bird, would be sent down, but one of those two was the obvious move. A player who is optioned cannot be recalled until 10 days after he is sent down, unless he is replacing someone going on the injured list, so by sending Bird down now, rather than waiting until Tuesday, the Rangers are starting the 10 days running today, meaning he can return two days earlier than he could if they waited until Tuesday to send him down.
Cabrera will likely either have his suspension kept at four games, or will have it lowered to three games, meaning he will most likely return either Friday or Saturday of next week. Once he is back, if the Rangers decide they need to go back to an eight man bullpen, they will then have to make the difficult decision on who to send down, waive, or otherwise remove from the 25 man roster among their position players. Delino DeShields and Ronald Guzman appear to be the most likely candidates at this point, but a lot can change in the next 5-6 days.