Former Texas Rangers relief pitcher Nick Gardewine has signed with the Cleburne Railroaders, it was announced today. Cleburne is part of the independent American Association, and their season starts on May 18.
Gardewine, 27, was a 7th round draft pick of the Rangers in 2013 out of Kaskaskia College in Arcola, Illinois. He made his major league debut in 2017, appearing in 12 games for the Rangers with a 5.63 ERA, and had three major league appearances in 2018, as well. Gardewine missed most of 2018 and 2019 due to injuries, was designated for assignment in mid-2019, cleared waivers, was released, and then re-signed with the Rangers. He was released again in June, 2020.
Gardewine was a guy who looked like a potentially intriguing bullpen piece when he was healthy, but has seen his career get de-railed with arm issues over the past few years. He’s going to get an opportunity to show he’s healthy and that the stuff is still there with Cleburne, and see if he can get an opportunity at some point in 2021 to get back into affiliated ball.