Rangers sign Culberson to Minors deal

December 28th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Veteran utility player and pitcher Tim Dillard were among six players signed by the Rangers to Minor League contracts, the club announced Monday.

Culberson is the only one of the six who has been invited to big league camp. Culberson has played all four infield positions plus the two corner outfield spots in an eight-year career with the Giants, Rockies, Dodgers and Braves. He also has four appearances as a pitcher.

Culberson, 31, is a right-handed hitter who's hit .249/.293/.391 with 23 home runs and 111 RBI in 916 career plate appearances. He was 1-for-7 in nine games with the Braves in 2020 and is 12-for-38 (.316) in 21 career postseason appearances. He is the grandson of former Red Sox outfielder Leon Culberson, a teammate of Ted Williams with the 1946 American League champions.

Dillard, 37, is returning for his 19th professional season and was in big league camp with the Rangers the past two springs. He spent last season pitching with the Milwaukee Milkmen in the independent American Association and was 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in five games.

Prior to that, Dillard spent five seasons in Triple-A and last pitched in the big leagues in 2012 with the Brewers. Dillard pitched for Triple-A Nashville in 2019 and was 9-9 with a 4.75 ERA in 21 starts and 12 relief appearances. His ability to pitch 153 innings and keep the rest of the staff from being overworked led him to be named the team’s co-MVP.

The Rangers also signed outfielder Elier Hernandez, right-handed pitchers Jesus Linarez and Collin Wiles and left-hander Sal Mendez to Minor League contracts. All were Minor League free agents.

Linarez, Mendez and Wiles have all been in the Rangers' farm system and have elected to return to the organization. Hernandez spent eight seasons in the Royals' organization before finding work in the Colombian Baseball League this winter.