The Texas Rangers announced today that they have signed pitchers Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy and Reyes Moronta and outfielders Clint Frazier and Travis Jankowski to minor league deals with invitations to the major league spring training.
This is an interesting collection of names. We talked about Kennedy earlier today — he had posted on Instagram that he was going to be in camp with the Rangers.
Duffy, a 34 year old lefty, was once upon a time a very solid starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, and was part of their 2014 and 2015 teams that went to the World Series, winning it all in 2015. Duffy struggled in recent years, but had a 2.51 ERA in 13 appearances covering 61 innings in 2021, his final season with the Royals, before a flexor tendon injjry cut his season short. Duffy pitched in the minors for the Dodgers in 2022, but only logged 6.2 IP over seven appearances late in the year due to ongoing issues with his flexor tendon injury.
Duffy will presumably be looked at as a potential bullpen arm — that was the role the Dodgers were planning on using him in in 2022, had he been healthy enough to pitch in the majors.
Frazier is a 28 year old righthanded hitting corner outfielder. He was selected fifth overall in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Guardians, and was traded to the New York Yankees as the lead piece in the deal that sent Andrew Miller to Cleveland. Frazier’s career has been largely derailed due to injuries, including ongoing issues relating to a concussion he first suffered in 2018. He signed with the Chicago Cubs for the 2022 season and got into 19 games in the majors before being sent down to AAA, where he ended up slashing .190/.283/.302 in 66 games.
Jankowski, 31, is someone who we talked about years ago as a possible bench acquisition. The lefthanded hitter came up with the San Diego Padres as a centerfielder whose calling card was his speed and defense, but he never really hit much. He spent 2020 with the Cincinnati Reds, 2021 with the Philadelphia Phillies, and 2022 with the New York Mets and (for one plate appearnace) the Seattle Mariners. He has a career .236/.319/.310 slash line.
Reyes Moronta is a 30 year old righthanded pitcher who split the 2022 season between Los Angeles and Arizona, putting up a 4.30 ERA in 37.2 IP. He had a couple of very good seasons out of the bullpen for San Francisco in 2018 and 2019, but missed 2020 due to labrum surgery, and missed most of 2021 due to a sprained elbow ligament.
The Rangers also announced their minor leaguers who are not on the 40 man roster who have been invited to major league spring training. They are:
LHPs — Cody Bradford, Lucas Jacobsen, Antoine Kelly, Jake Latz, Avery Weems
RHPs — Marc Church, Kyle Cody, Chase Lee, Jack Leiter, Fernery Ozuna, Kumar Rocker, Daniel Robert
Catchers — Cody Freeman, David Garcia, Matt Whatley
Infielders — Blaine Crim, Justin Foscue
Outfielders — Evan Carter, Elier Hernandez