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Rangers claim lefty reliever Beliveau off waivers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added another bullpen candidate by claiming left-handed reliever Jeff Beliveau off waivers from the Cubs on Friday. He gives the Rangers a possible left-handed relief option if they decide to use Robbie Ross in the rotation.

The move leaves the Rangers with a full 40-man roster, so they will have to make another roster move to clear space before they add catcher A.J. Pierzynski. The Rangers agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million contract with Pierzynski on Thursday, pending a physical which was scheduled for Friday.

Beliveau, who was designated for assignment last week, was 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in 22 appearances as a rookie for the Cubs last season. He allowed 10.7 hits, 6.1 walks and 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings. He was also 4-5 with a 3.89 ERA in 37 games at Triple-A Iowa, allowing 9.0 hits, 3.7 walks and 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

"He works slightly across his body to add some deception with a different angle against left-handed hitters," Rangers pro scouting director Josh Boyd said of Beliveau. "He's got some velocity, too, and his slider and changeup don't limit him strictly to lefty matchups."

Left-handers hit .260 (9-for-25) off him at the Major League level and .267 (16-for-60) at Triple-A. In 2011, he was the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year when he went 6-2 with a 1.57 ERA in 53 combined appearances at Class A and Double-A. He was an 18th round Draft pick by the Cubs in 2008 out of Florida Atlantic University.

Ross was the Rangers' top left-handed setup reliever last season. He was 6-0 with a 2.22 ERA in 58 games and the Rangers also return Michael Kirkman, who was 1-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 28 games. The Rangers also acquired left-handed reliever Tommy Hottovy from the Royals earlier in the offseason, and re-signed veteran Neal Cotts to a Minor League contract. Left-handed reliever Joe Ortiz was also added to the 40-man roster after posting a 2.15 ERA in 51 Minor League appearances last season.

Texas Rangers, Jeff Beliveau, Robbie Ross