Surprise, Arizona – The Texas Rangers announced this evening that free agent right-hander Derek Lowe has agreed to terms on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to the club’s major league spring training camp.
Lowe, 39, is expected to report to spring training in Surprise, Arizona on Friday.
The right-hander split the 2012 seasons between Cleveland and the New York Yankees. He was 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Indians before being released on August 10. Signed by the Yankees on August 13, Lowe was 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA and one save in 17 relief appearances for New York the rest of the season. Prior to that time, he had pitched just twice in relief in the regular season since the start of 2002. He pitched 4.0 scoreless innings to earn his first save since 2001 in his first New York appearance on August 13 versus the Rangers in New York. Lowe became a free agent at the end of the year.
Lowe has a career record of 175-157 with a 4.00 ERA and 86 saves in 672 games/377 starts with Seattle (1997), Boston (1997-2004), Los Angeles Dodgers (2005-08), Atlanta (2009-11), Cleveland (2012), and the New York Yankees (2012). He is one of just three pitchers in major league history with at least 160 wins and 80 saves, joining John Smoltz and Dennis Eckersley. He won 12 or more games in eight straight seasons from 2002-10, posting a career best 21 victories in his first full season with the Red Sox in 2002. Two years earlier, Lowe topped the A.L. with 42 saves as Boston’s closer. He tied for the N.L. lead with 16 wins as a Dodger in 2006 and has tied for the top spot in the N.L. in starts on four occasions.
He is 19-23, 2.96 with 86 saves in 109 chances in relief in his major league career. His 355 starts since 2002 are second major in the majors behind Toronto’s Mark Buehrle (361). Among all major league pitchers who saw action in 2012, he ranks seventh in both career wins and innings (2658.1).
With the addition of Lowe, Texas will have 54 players in camp, not including the six Rangers currently participating in the World Baseball Classic.