Texas Rangers transactions: Scott Heineman, Jose Trevino and Isiah Kiner-Falefa have been recalled from AAA Nashville (for the first two) and AA Frisco (for IKF). To make room for the trio on the roster, the Rangers have designated Asdrubal Cabrera and Tim Federowicz for assignment, and have optioned pitcher Phillips Valdez to AAA Nashville.
The decision to DFA Cabrera and Federowicz was announced after Wednesday’s game. Cabrera was signed to replace Adrian Beltre at third base, and after getting off to a solid start, he struggled both offensively and defensively for much of the season. The Rangers, I suspect, shopped him leading up to the deadline, but found no takers, and with the Rangers wanting to look at younger guys the final two months, Cabrera now ends up on the waiver wire.
Federowicz was acquired to share catching duties with Jeff Mathis after Kiner-Falefa landed on the injured list. He’s departing so that Trevino can get a major league audition and work with Mathis. Trevino is considered a terrific defensive catcher who has struggled staying healthy and hitting.
Valdez going down means the Rangers are dropping down to a 7 man bullpen, but with several relief options in the minors I suspect the Rangers figure they can shuffle goes up and down as needed until rosters expand in September.
Kiner-Falefa is expected to play third base regularly now that he is up. Heineman, meanwhile, can play all three outfield spots and has gotten reps of late at first base as well. He is a 26 year old righty who was an 11th round pick out of the University of Oregon in 2015. He’s viewed as a tweener — not enough bat for a corner spot, not good enough defensively to play center — who profiles as a potential fourth outfielder. He missed the first two months of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery on his left shoulder in the offseason. He is slashing .372/.435/.581 for Nashville this year, though that is with an unsustainably high BABIP of around .450.