The Texas Rangers announced several moves today, the most significant being the signing of infielder Brock Holt and pitcher Hyeon-jong Yang to minor league contracts. The Rangers have also signed catcher John Hicks to a minor league contract, announced that outfielder Adolis Garcia cleared waivers, and announced that pitchers Hans Crouse and Luis Ortiz have been invited to the major league spring training camp.
We talked about Holt a little earlier today — he’s a veteran who will presumably have the inside track to being the Opening Day third baseman while Josh Jung starts the season in AAA. He had, per Ken Rosenthal, major league offers, but took the minor league deal from the Rangers due to the opportunity to win the starting third base job.
We talked about Yang last night, when news that he was signing started circulating — he’s a lefthanded veteran starting pitcher from Korea who the Rangers bid on when he was posted in 2014 (none of the bids were accepted, and he stayed with the Kia Tigers of the KBO as a result), and will be getting a shot at a rotation spot with the Rangers this spring.
Garcia was designated for assignment when Mike Foltynewicz was added to the 40 man roster. He has power and speed but is still considered to be rather raw, with his spot on the 40 man roster always seeming to be a bit tenuous since he was claimed on waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals. Having cleared waivers and been outrighted, he will be getting an invitation to the major league spring training camp.
John Hicks will also be in camp as catching depth. The 31 year old spent a good chunk of the 2017-19 seasons in the majors with the Detroit Tigers, and spent the 2020 season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, though he didn’t appear in any major league games. He’s spring training catching depth and someone who may end up hanging around in Round Rock or Frisco if the need arises.
The announcements about Hans Crouse and Luis Ortiz getting spring training invitations is interesting, mainly because spring training is about to start, and guys usually get the official invites earlier on (or when they sign). It may be a matter of having extra room available, or wanting them to be part of the group that is at the major league camp now before the AA and lower minor leaguers report after the first group leaves. Or it could be that there were some things that they wanted to see from Crouse and Ortiz this offseason, with the major league invitation coming only if they met those expectations.