The Texas Rangers have signed Mike Foltynewicz to a one year deal, the team announced today. To make room for Foltynewicz on the 40 man roster, the Rangers have designated Adolis Garcia for assignment.
We discussed Foltynewicz last week, when the various national and local reporters all said that he had agreed to a deal with the Rangers. The righthander was waived and outrighted last year by the Atlanta Braves after a disastrous spring training and summer camp, as well as a disastrous appearance in July, and became a minor league free agent at the end of the season. Foltynewicz was a first round pick of the Houston Astros in 2010, and was sent to Atlanta in the Evan Gattis trade.
Like David Dahl, who the Rangers signed earlier this offseason, Foltynewicz has less than five years service time, and thus would still potentially be under team control for 2022, should the Rangers desire to keep him and pay him what he would get in arbitration. I suspect that the potential ability to retain Folty beyond 2021, should he pitch in 2021 like he did in 2016-19 (particularly 2018, when he was an All Star and finished 8th in the Cy Young balloting), was a significant factor in the signing. And if he doesn’t pitch well enough to want to keep around...well, per reports, it is just a $2 million deal, so no harm done.
Foltynewicz and fellow righthander Jordan Lyles are guys who seem to have near-locks on rotation spots for 2021 despite awful 2020 seasons, though we could see one or both of them in a bullpen role or used in a tandem starting role should they be viewed as not being effective enough to go through the lineup more than once or twice.
As for Garcia, he was, I think, the person everyone expected would be the roster casualty once a 40 man roster spot was needed, if there wasn’t a 60 day injured list move to be made. The 27 year old righthanded hitting outfielder spent some time on the active roster for the Rangers last year but only got 7 plate appearances in 3 games. Texas is, I am sure, hoping they can sneak him through waivers and outright him, but as a toolsy guy with an option remaining, a team with 40 man roster spots to burn (which isn’t the case with the Rangers) could opt to grab him.