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Texas Rangers summer camp roster announced

The Rangers have officially listed the 60 players who will be in their “summer camp” in preparation for the upcoming 2020 season

Texas Rangers training camp Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Texas Rangers have announced their “summer camp” roster of players, guys who will attend the abbreviated training camp and be eligible to be on the major league roster and travel for the 2020 MLB season.

Teams can designate up to 20 players on non-roster deals to be on a “taxi squad,” along with players on the 40 man roster. The Rangers have a total of 55 players who they have on their summer roster — 37 players on the 40 man roster and 18 non-roster players.

There are three players on the 40 man roster who were omitted from this group — Brock Burke, Kyle Cody and Yohander Mendez. Cody missed all of last year with Tommy John surgery, and Burke was slated to miss the 2020 season anyway due to shoulder problems (he’s been placed on the 60 day injured list, something I will put in a separate transaction post later today), so those two aren’t surprising.

Mendez, however, would seem to be the type of pitcher who the Rangers would want to get a look at in this situation. He had shoulder issues in the spring and was placed on the restricted list, so he may be hurt, the team may not want to remove him from the restricted list, or they may just be over him. Expect him to be a 40 man casualty, either by virtue of being put on the 60 day injured list or being waived, when the season starts.

The 18 non-roster players are:

Pitchers — Cody Allen, Wes Benjamin, Luis Garcia, Ian Gibaut, Jimmy Herget, Wei-Chieh Huang, Derek Law, Alex Speas

Catchers — Tim Federowicz, Sam Huff, Nick Ciuffo, Blake Swihart

Infielders — Greg Bird, Andy Ibanez, Josh Jung, Yadiel Rivera

Outfielders — Rob Refsnyder, Eli White

In addition, Juan Nicasio and Edinson Volquez will reportedly be added, bringing the total to 57.

A couple of omissions that jump out at me are Joe Barlow and Matt Duffy. Barlow had a very good 2019 season and was seen as a strong candidate to be added to the 40 man roster, but ended up being exposed in the Rule 5 draft. He had seemed like a candidate to be in the mix for a bullpen role.

Duffy, meanwhile, I thought had a shot at sticking in the infield, and possibly playing third base, with Todd Frazier moving to first. He was released, however, and is part of the New York Yankees’ taxi squad.

There is a mix of guys who make up the non-roster taxi squad. You have several catchers because, well, you need guys who can catch and catchers get injured more easily. Huff is being added to the 40 man roster this offseason anyway, and the other three non-roster guys are depth pieces who could be added for a short period if needed, then dropped from the 40 man roster.

Ibanez and Rivera give the Rangers some emergency infield depth, while Bird is vying for a potential first base job and Jung is here to get reps and exposure to the big leaguers.

Redsnyder and White had impressive camps, with White in particular seen as a guy who is versatile and can provide solid defense in both the infield and outfield. Like Barlow, he was a guy who was Rule 5 eligible last offseason, but his stock has risen, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him stick on the roster as a backup outfielder.

The pitchers are, for the most part, veteran depth guys who are around in case the Rangers need arms they can bring up and then waive a week later if need be. The exceptions are Allen, the former Indians closer who is a reclamation project, and Speas, who impressed in the fall after returning from Tommy John surgery and who is, like Huff, Rule 5 eligible after the season. Expect to see Speas on a major league mound this summer.

My understanding is that a player who is removed from the taxi squad is not eligible to be put back on by the same team, so if the Rangers want to add someone in their system who isn’t on there now, they would have to drop someone else who would be ineligible going forward.

Teams will have a 30 man active roster for the first two weeks of the season before dropping down to 28 man rosters the next two weeks and 26 man rosters the rest of the way. There will be a special COVID-19 injured list for players who test positive, were exposed or are showing symptoms — those players will not be counted towards the 40 man roster limit, and the injured list will have no minimum or maximum number of days.

Man, its nice to have some baseball stuff to talk about right now.