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Luis Sardinas, former Ranger, released by Nationals

The Nationals released a number of minor leaguers last week, and former Ranger prospect Luis Sardinas is on the list

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Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

With the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis making it increasingly unlikely there will not be minor league baseball played this season, a few teams have started releasing passels of players. The Washington Nationals reportedly cut 40 players last week, and the one name in there that is noteworthy for Rangers fans is shortstop Luis Sardinas.

You may remember Sardinas from his days as a Texas Ranger prospect. He was part of the 2009 J-2 class signed by the Rangers, which was headlined by Jurickson Profar. Sardinas got a $1.5 million signing bonus, just a tick behind what Profar ($1.55 million) received — and while those numbers may seem like no big deal now, at the team, they were the 16th and 18th highest J-2 bonuses of all time.

Sardinas got great marks for his speed and for his glove at shortstop, but he struggled to stay healthy and never really hit. He was brought up along with Rougned Odor from AA in April, 2014, when injuries were crippling the club — Jon Daniels felt bringing both the young guys up from Frisco together would help them both. Sardinas played sparingly, didn’t hit much, got sent back down at the end of June, and didn’t come back until rosters expanded in September.

That offseason, Sardinas was shipped to Milwaukee, along with Marcos Diplan and Corey Knebel, in the deal that brought Yovani Gallardo to Texas (a deal that, without which, the Rangers probably don’t win the A.L. West in 2015). He was then dealt to Seattle after the 2015 season, Seattle moved him to the San Diego Padres in August, 2016, the Orioles claimed him on waivers in May, 2017, and he became a free agent after the 2018 season. Sardinas spent the 2019 season in the Nationals minor league system, and had re-signed with them for the 2020 season.

Sardinas didn’t make it to the majors last year, and it appears unlikely he will this year. He has a .224/.274/.292 slash line in 182 games from 2014-18, and even though he just turned 27, he appears to be destined for a role as an up-and-down utility infield guy going forward, someone who signs a minor league deal each spring with a team that plans on having in AAA and hopes they don’t need to call him up.