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Rangers set three players free -- for now

Santana, Heineman, Herget non-tendered at deadline, but all could return
@Sullivan_Ranger
December 2, 2020

ARLINGTON – The Rangers did not offer a contract to switch-hitting utility player Danny Santana by Wednesday night's deadline, making him a free agent. The Rangers also non-tendered outfielder Scott Heineman and pitcher Jimmy Herget, leaving them with 36 players on the 40-man roster. All three could be re-signed to

ARLINGTON – The Rangers did not offer a contract to switch-hitting utility player Danny Santana by Wednesday night's deadline, making him a free agent. The Rangers also non-tendered outfielder Scott Heineman and pitcher Jimmy Herget, leaving them with 36 players on the 40-man roster. All three could be re-signed to Minor League contracts.

Santana, who was eligible for arbitration, underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow in September and is not expected to be ready for the start of the season. The Rangers could work out a Minor League deal, which would allow him to continue his rehab with Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington.

“We non-tendered Danny tonight to give us more time to evaluate him as he finishes his rehab,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “He’s been a pro for the two years he’s been with us and the door remains open depending on a variety of factors.”

Santana suffered through a rough season after being the Rangers 2019 Player of the Year when he hit .283/.324/.534 with 28 home runs and 81 RBIs. He played in just 15 games in 2020, hitting .145/.238/.273 with one home run and seven RBIs.

Heineman hit .154 for the Rangers this past season in a reserve outfield role. He was an 11th-round pick out of the University of Oregon in 2015. Herget pitched in 20 games for the Rangers last season, going 1-0 with a 3.20 ERA. He struck out 17 batters but walked 14 in 19 2/3 innings.

The Rangers have three pending arbitration cases in outfielder Joey Gallo, infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pitcher Rafael Montero.

Three former Rangers players have become free agents after being non-tendered. The White Sox let go Nomar Mazara, the Indians did the same with Delino DeShields and the Orioles did the same with Hanser Alberto.

Another non-tender who could be of interest to the Rangers is Kyle Schwarber, set free by the Cubs. Schwarber has long been viewed as an offensive threat who really needs to be used at designated hitter.

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.