ARLINGTON -- The Rangers re-signed right-handed reliever Tony Barnette to a one-year contract, the club recently announced. Texas made Barnette a free agent when the club declined to pick up his option on Nov. 6, but he was re-signed to a $1.5 million contract for 2018.Barnette spent the past two
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers re-signed right-handed reliever Tony Barnette to a one-year contract, the club recently announced. Texas made Barnette a free agent when the club declined to pick up his option on Nov. 6, but he was re-signed to a $1.5 million contract for 2018.
Barnette spent the past two years with the Rangers, going 7-3 with a 2.09 ERA in 53 games in 2016 before slipping to 2-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 50 outings this past season. But the 34-year-old recorded a 2.51 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP during a 25-game stretch from July 3-Sept. 22 before allowing seven runs in his final two outings after Texas was eliminated from postseason contention.
"During my short-lived free agency, it was difficult to imagine an immediate future without being in a Rangers uniform," Barnette said.
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The Rangers also signed right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, their first-round Draft pick in 2013, as well as three others to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.
Gonzalez became a free agent last Friday when Texas non-tendered him. The 25-year-old is recovering from Tommy John surgery and is not expected to pitch in 2018.
The Rangers also signed former Blue Jays and Tigers outfielder Anthony Gose with the possibility that he could pitch for them. Gose, a left-hander, spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues from 2012-16 mainly as a center fielder with excellent speed.
Gose, 27, has appeared in 372 Major League games, posting a .240/.309/.348 slash line and 57 stolen bases. The Phillies originally drafted him as an outfielder out of Bellflower (Calif.) High School in 2008. Gose pitched in high school but wanted to play professionally as an outfielder even though scouts were attracted to a fastball registering in the high 90s.
That changed last Spring Training when the Tigers told Gose he was not going to make the team. He volunteered to switch to pitching and was clocked at 99 mph. Gose went 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA in 11 appearances at Class A Advanced Lakeland before being shut down on July 2 with elbow inflammation.
In addition, the Rangers signed left-hander David Hurlbut, who spent all of last season at Triple-A Rochester in the Twins' organization and finished 10-8 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over 23 games (22 starts). The 28-year-old has averaged an attractive two walks per nine innings in seven Minor League seasons.
The Rangers also signed infielder Christian Lopes out of the Blue Jays' organization. The 25-year-old played in 92 games at Triple-A Buffalo this past season and hit .261 with a .349 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage. Lopes knocked six home runs and stole 18 bases. A right-handed hitter, he has been a second baseman for most of his career with only limited experience at shortstop and third base.
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.