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Rangers make moves to finalize roster

The Rangers make their final pre-Opening Day roster moves

Texas Rangers Photo Day Photo by Robert Beck/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Texas Rangers announced today that they have purchased the contracts of pitchers Matt Bush and Greg Holland and infielder Charlie Culberson. To make room for them on the 40 man roster, the Rangers have placed pitcher Jose Leclerc on the injured list, have designated Sherten Apostel for assignment, and have traded Yonny Hernandez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Jeferson Espinal.

Spencer Patton has been optioned to AAA Round Rock, Garrett Richards has been officially placed on the 10 day injured list due to a finger blister, and Joe McCarthy has been assigned to AAA Round Rock.

In addition, pitcher Glenn Otto was optioned a couple of days ago. I didn’t think it warranted its own post, so it is mentioned here.

Bush, Holland and Culberson being added to the 40 man roster and the Opening Day roster was announced a few days ago, so it was just a matter of making it official and making the moves to clear spots on the 40 man roster.

Leclerc is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and there had been indications that the Rangers thought he would be ready to go before the 60 day period expired, and thus wanted to avoid putting him on the 60 day. It appears they decided the open roster spot was more valuable than potentially getting Leclerc back a week or so early.

Apostel is one of the players we have said was on the roster bubble. The 23 year old first baseman had a disappointing 2021 season, struggling offensively both at Frisco and Round Rock and missing significant time with injury. He just turned 23 years old, and the power is legit, so I imagine the Rangers are hoping they can sneak him through waivers.

Hernandez made his major league debut in 2021, and profiles as a potential utility infielder due to his defensive versatility and speed, but who still has to show he can hit enough to warrant a bench role. He, like Apostel, seemed to be someone on the roster bubble, so him departing is not unexpected.

Espinal, who turns 20 in June, is a lefthanded hitting outfielder who played all three outfield spots in 2021. He started the year in low-A and slashed just .216/.288/.288 there overall for the season. When he was moved down a level to short season ball he slashed .352/.446/.507 in the Arizona Complex League, resulting in him getting bumped back up to low-A, where he was .293/.431/.439 in 11 games in finishing the season there. Fangraphs had him in their “other prospects of note” for the D-Backs, saying he is a 70 runner but can’t hit. BA has him #27 in the D-Backs system, saying he’s toolsy but raw.

The other two players I thought were potentially on the bubble were Zach Reks and Demarcus Evans, but they are safe, for now.

In addition, Joe McCarthy is apparently sticking in the Rangers organization, at least for the time being. There were reports that the Rangers were considering adding him to the 40 man roster and optioning him, which would make sense if he had an opt out or other clause that allowed him to leave, but that situation was never clear. Now he’ll be toiling away with the Express.