Spencer Patton and Nick Vincent will apparently be among the pitchers vying for spots in the Texas Rangers bullpen this spring.
Patton, a one-time Ranger (he was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Jason Frasor in 2014) who has been pitching for Yokohama the past four seasons, was announced earlier this week as having signed a minor league deal with the Rangers. After putting up ERAs of 2.57 and 2.36 his first two seasons in Japan, he had a 4.89 ERA in 2019 and 4.92 ERA in 2020, the spiking appearing to largely be driven by an increase in his walk rate and home run rate.
Patton will presumably be in the mix for a bullpen job this spring. I am not sure if he has an opt-out or not, but if he doesn’t make the team and doesn’t opt out, he would likely be in Round Rock as bullpen depth.
Vincent has not been officially announced as having signed, though Jon Morosi reported yesterday that a deal with the Rangers had been agreed to. The 34 year old is a small (5’10”) righthander who has been in the majors since 2012, and has logged the majority of his innings with the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres, though he also has had time with the San Francisco Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, and, in 2020, the Miami Marlins.
Vincent has a career ERA of 3.38 and a career FIP of 3.38 (neat, huh?) in 399 innings pitched in 405 relief appearances. He posted a 4.43 ERA in 2019 between the Giants and Phillies, and then in 2020 had an ERA of 4.43 (ooh, this is getting spooky) for the Marlins in 22.1 IP.
Vincent has seen his home run rate rise the past few years, and his K rate plummeted to 6.9 (nice?) in 2020, compared to his career 8.9 K rate, and thus he’s apparently having to settle for a minor league deal. He will, due to his service time, have the right to opt out of his deal if he isn’t on the 40 man roster at the end of spring training.
UPDATE — The Nick Vincent signing is official.