Rangers sign three to Minor League deals

Huang, Refsnyder, Ciuffo invited to big league Spring Training

December 5th, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers on Thursday re-signed right-handed pitcher to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Texas had made Huang a free agent by non-tendering him last Monday.

The Rangers also reached agreements with infielder/outfielder and catcher on Minor League deals that include an invitation to big league camp.

Huang, 26, was one of two players acquired by the Rangers from the D-backs for left-handed reliever Jake Diekman at the 2018 Trade Deadline. He pitched in four games for the Rangers last season and allowed five runs, two earned, in 5 2/3 innings. Huang allowed eight hits and five walks with two strikeouts.

Huang pitched in 26 games in the Minor Leagues between Triple-A Round Rock, Double-A Frisco and a short rehab assignment with the Arizona Rookie League Rangers. He posted a combined record of 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP, while averaging 12.6 strikeouts, 5.8 walks and 7.0 hits per nine innings.

Refsnyder has played in 166 Major League games with the Yankees, Blue Jays and Rays from 2015-2018 with a career slash line of .218/.308/.302. He's started at first base, second, left field and right and was used as a utility player signed to provide depth at Triple-A Nashville.

Refsnyder was born Kim Jung-tae in Seoul, South Korea, and was adopted by American parents at five months old. He grew up in Southern California playing football and baseball. He turned down chances to play quarterback at Division I football schools and instead attended the University of Arizona on a baseball scholarship. Refsnyder led the Arizona to the 2012 College World Series title and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Ciuffo was the Rays' first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, but he was held back by personal issues that included two positive tests and one suspension relating to drug abuse. He made his big league debut in 2018 and played in 16 games for the Rays, hitting .189/.262/.297. Tampa Bay released him on July 1 last season and he finished the year at Triple-A Louisville, an affiliate of the Reds.

Ciuffo, 24, was signed for Triple-A depth, but he also has a strong throwing arm and a reputation for being good at framing pitches. He's also a left-handed hitter and could be an asset at the big league level if he can regain the upside potential he has as a first-round pick.

Ragsdale honored as top MiLB manager

Corey Ragsdale, who is joining the Rangers' coaching staff, has been selected as the 2019 Minor League Manager of the Year by Baseball America.

Ragsdale managed Class A Down East in the Carolina League last season and led the Wood Ducks to a record of 87-52. They lost to Fayetteville in five games in the league semifinals.

Ragsdale also served in the dual capacity of Minor League Field Coordinator. He's been promoted to Major League Field Coordinator under Rangers manager Chris Woodward.