Texas inks Joely Rodríguez to 2-year contract

Dillard, Swihart among 5 added on Minor League deals

December 16th, 2019

The Rangers on Monday announced their signing of left-handed reliever Joely Rodríguez to a two-year contract with a club option for 2022. Texas also announced a series of Minor League deals, including bringing back Matt Bush on a two-year Minor League contract and signing Blake Swihart to a Minors deal with an invite to Major League Spring Training.

In addition to Swihart, Texas signed right-handers Tim Dillard and Arturo Reyes, and left-hander Brian Flynn to Minor League contracts with invites to Major League Spring Training.

The team didn't announce the financial terms of Rodríguez's deal, but MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported during the Winter Meetings last week that the agreement is for $5.5 million. A source told MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan on Monday that Rodríguez will make $2.5 million in both 2020 and '21, with a $3 million option for '22 that comes with a $500,000 buyout.

The 28-year-old Rodríguez pitched in Japan the last two seasons after two MLB seasons with the Phillies (2016-17). With Nippon Professional Baseball's Chunichi Dragons in 2019, he had a 1.64 ERA in 64 appearances, with 77 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. Over his two years in the Majors, he made 38 relief appearances, with a 5.40 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings.

Bush is recovering from his Tommy John surgery of July 12, meaning he'll likely miss at least most of the 2020 season. He'll be in Minor League camp in Spring Training.

Bush last pitched on June 30 for Double-A Frisco, as he rehabbed from September 2018 surgery to repair a tendon in his right elbow. The 33-year-old right-hander last pitched in the Majors for Texas in 2018, when he had a 4.70 ERA in 21 appearances and 19 strikeouts in 23 innings.

Swihart played in 43 Major League games for the Red Sox and D-backs in 2019. The 27-year-old catcher and outfielder hit .163 with four home runs in 99 plate appearances.

Dillard, who was in the Rangers organization last season, had a 4.75 ERA in 33 games (21 starts) for Triple-A Nashville. The 36-year-old last pitched in the Majors in 2012 with the Brewers. The 29-year-old Flynn had a 5.22 ERA in 11 MLB games with the Royals in 2019, and the 27-year-old Reyes had a 4.42 ERA in 28 Minor League games (23 starts) in the Rays organization.