The Rangers have signed right-handed pitcher Spencer Patton to a Minor League deal with an invitation to big league Spring Training, the club announced on Tuesday.
Patton is the second former Rangers player to re-sign with the club this week, following Delino DeShields’ return on Monday.
Texas is signing Patton from the Yokohama Bay Stars in Japan, where he has spent the last four years working as a relief pitcher. He finishes his Nippon Professional Baseball career with a 12-9 record and a 3.68 ERA over 219 relief appearances from 2017-20.
Patton pitched for the Rangers from 2014-15 and the Cubs in ‘16, going 3-2 with a 6.26 ERA over 52 appearances. He has not appeared in a Major League game since Sept. 24, 2016.
Patton is also the second pitcher the Rangers have signed to a Minor League deal this week, as they signed righty Sam Gaviglio on Monday. Both are likely to provide depth out of the bullpen.
Patton is just the most recent player to return to MLB from an Asian professional league. Multiple players have come back to succeed, most recently Miles Mikolas, who returned from NPB to thrive for the Cardinals, and Merrill Kelly, who signed with the D-backs after pitching in the Korea Baseball Organization.
Mikolas had surgery to repair the flexor tendon in his right arm and missed most of the 2020 season, but he pitched in 32 games in '19, posting a 4.16 ERA. Kelly pitched in only five games in ‘20, posting a 2.59 ERA.
The Rangers also signed pitcher Joely Rodríguez from Japan last offseason. In 2020, the left-hander appeared in 12 games and recorded a 2.13 ERA. Patton could provide quality innings for the Rangers if he cracks the Opening Day roster.
The Rangers now have 64 players on their Spring Training roster, including 24 non-roster invitees.