The Texas Rangers have claimed outfielders Billy McKinney and Zach Reks on waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team announced today. The Rangers 40 man roster now stands at 39.
McKinney and Reks are both lefthanded hitting corner outfielders, and each is on the older side — McKinney is 27, while Reks is 28. McKinney is out of options and has two-plus years of service time, while Reks has a pair of options and less than a year of service time. Neither has been outrighted before, it appears, so if the Rangers waive one or both of them later and they clear waivers, they can be outrighted.
McKinney is the bigger name of the two. A first round pick out of Plano by the Oakland A’s in 2013, McKinney was viewed at the time as a guy with a quality hit tool but questions about his power. He was sent at the deadline in 2014 to the Chicago Cubs as the second piece, behind Addison Russell, in the deal that sent Jeff Samardzija to Oakland. Two years later, he was again dealt at the deadline, this time to the Yankees, as the second piece, behind Gleyber Torres, in the Aroldis Chapman trade. McKinney has bounced around from team to team since, and was acquired in July, 2021, by the Dodgers from the New York Mets.
McKinney has a career .215/.286/.404 slash line in 711 major league plate appearances.
Reks was a 10th round pick out of the University of Kentucky in 2017. He was 0 for 10 in six games in the majors in 2021. He slashed .280/.382/.539 for Oklahoma City this year.
I would be mildly surprised if either is on the 40 man roster when spring training arrives. These appear to be claims made with an eye towards running them through waivers later in the offseason.
This also continues the trend of the Rangers claiming guys off waivers from the Dodgers.
UPDATE — Correction. Texas traded for Reks and McKinney, getting them for cash considerations. So they sent Los Angeles what would seem likely to be a little over the waiver claim price rather than waiting to see if they would be awarded a waiver claim.