Texas Rangers pitcher Kohei Arihara has cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA Round Rock, the team announced yesterday. As part of that announcement, it was indicated that Arihara is expected to start for Round Rock this coming weekend.
Arihara clearing waivers was not unexpected, as the righthander is due a guaranteed $3.6 million in 2022 by virtue of the two year deal he signed with the Rangers this past offseason. The 29 year old has not performed well since coming to the United States, putting up a 6.64 ERA and a 6.75 FIP in 40.2 IP, and so no team was expected to claim Arihara and inherit that salary obligation. Arihara was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Mike Foltynewicz on the 40 man roster when Foltynewicz was activated from the COVID-19 injured list.
Since Arihara is under contract for 2022, he will remain in the Rangers’ system, with the plan being, per general manager Chris Young, to have him come to camp in spring training and compete for a job. Arihara would likely be in the Round Rock rotation in 2022 if he doesn’t make the major league team.
On a separate note, Tyler Phillips was released by the Philadelphia Phillies. Phillips, 23, was designated for assignment earlier this week by the Phillies, who had claimed him on waivers from the Texas Rangers earlier this summer. Phillips could have been outrighted, but given that he would be a free agent once the season ends anyway since he wasn’t on a major league roster, the Phillies apparently saw no point in doing that.