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Rangers add 6 prospects to 40-man roster

Guerrieri, Pelham designated for assignment to make room
@Sullivan_Ranger
November 20, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added outfielder Leody Taveras, third baseman Sherten Apostel, infielder Anderson Tejeda and right-handed pitchers Tyler Phillips, Kyle Cody and Demarcus Evans to their 40-man roster, the club announced on Wednesday. The moves will protect those six players from being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft. To

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added outfielder Leody Taveras, third baseman Sherten Apostel, infielder Anderson Tejeda and right-handed pitchers Tyler Phillips, Kyle Cody and Demarcus Evans to their 40-man roster, the club announced on Wednesday.

The moves will protect those six players from being selected in December's Rule 5 Draft. To make room for the additions, the Rangers designated pitchers Taylor Guerrieri and CD Pelham for assignment. The Rangers now have a full 40-man roster.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

All six additions will be in Spring Training with the big league club for the first time, although Evans is likely to be the only one with a chance to make the Rangers out of camp. He is a power-throwing reliever who is expected to compete for a spot in the bullpen.

Taveras, the Rangers' No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, made the jump from Class A Advanced Down East to Double-A Frisco last season. In 65 games for the RoughRiders, the 21-year-old hit .265 with a .320 on-base percentage and a .375 slugging percentage. Taveras is also considered a plus defensive player in center field.

Apostel, the No. 10 prospect in Texas' system and just 20 years old, was acquired from the Pirates in the July 31 trade for pitcher Keone Kela. He split last season at Class A Hickory and Down East, batting .251 with 19 home runs and 59 RBIs in 121 games. Apostel posted a .339 on-base percentage and a .440 slugging percentage. He started 108 games at third base and 10 at first base.

Tejeda, the No. 11 prospect in the Rangers' farm system, had his season cut short by left shoulder surgery. The 21-year-old hit .234 in 43 games at Down East, and he is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

The 22-year-old Phillips, ranked as the organization's No. 16 prospect, made 16 starts and two relief outings at Frisco, going 7-9 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. He was the Rangers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018 (2.64 ERA and 1.02 WHIP).

Cody, 25, did not pitch this season while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. But he was the Rangers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2017, when he went 9-6 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 23 starts at the Class A levels. He is also expected to be at full strength for Spring Training.

Evans appeared in 30 games for Frisco after being promoted from Down East. At the Double-A level, he went 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. The 23-year-old also averaged 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings with a fastball in the mid-90s and a plus curveball.

Among the Rule 5 Draft-eligible players who went unprotected were right-handed pitcher Joe Barlow and infielder Eli White. Barlow struck out 14.7 batters per nine innings at three Minor League levels, but he also walked 6.6 batters. White spent all of last season at Triple-A Nashville, hitting .253 with 14 home runs, 63 runs, 43 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. He posted a .337 on-base percentage and a .418 slugging percentage after being acquired from the Athletics in a trade for infielder Jurickson Profar.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.