Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Texas Rangers
news

Rangers News

Inbox: Will Woodward use opener strategy?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers questions from fans
MLB.com

Have we gotten a feel about how manager Chris Woodward feels about the concept of "openers"?  
-- Joe S., Garland, Texas

Woodward was asked about this at the Winter Meetings. The Rangers would obviously love to have a rotation like the Astros and Indians had last season, but not many Major League teams are that fortunate. The Rangers are less fortunate than most, so Woodward understands the need to be open-minded and creative when it comes to his pitching staff. He also knows there is data that supports the idea that many pitchers are effective for no more than two times through the lineup. But this whole idea of "openers" is still in the experimental stage, so there is no telling yet if it will become standard operating procedure or a passing fad.

Have we gotten a feel about how manager Chris Woodward feels about the concept of "openers"?  
-- Joe S., Garland, Texas

Woodward was asked about this at the Winter Meetings. The Rangers would obviously love to have a rotation like the Astros and Indians had last season, but not many Major League teams are that fortunate. The Rangers are less fortunate than most, so Woodward understands the need to be open-minded and creative when it comes to his pitching staff. He also knows there is data that supports the idea that many pitchers are effective for no more than two times through the lineup. But this whole idea of "openers" is still in the experimental stage, so there is no telling yet if it will become standard operating procedure or a passing fad.

Submit a question to Rangers Inbox 

Is there any possibility the Rangers would jump into the Manny Machado sweepstakes? If the price really is falling to the $175 million range, it feels like a major bargain, and he'd be an ideal fit in this lineup. 
-- Mark M., Little Rock, Ark.

Machado would be a great fit in any lineup, but right now, the inside word from the Rangers is they are not in the Machado sweepstakes and have no plans of entering into it. That's where it stands right now for Texas.

When do you see the Rangers adding a third baseman, or even a right-handed-hitting outfielder?
-- Tony N., Waskom, Texas

The Rangers are determined to sign a veteran third baseman before their offseason work is over. Club sources have made that clear. Obviously, Mike Moustakas is the best third baseman on the free-agent market, but it seems like he will attract plenty of attention from serious contenders once Machado has made a decision. Once you get past Moustakas, the candidates are more utility-type players. Josh Harrison, Yangervis Solarte and Marwin Gonzalez are among the best of the bunch. Certainly, the Rangers are determined to add someone to go with rookie Patrick Wisdom.

When will Jose Trevino get his shot? I know he's coming off an injury but there's not a better defensive catcher in the system and he has definitely proved he's a winner.
-- Jon B., Amarillo, Texas

Trevino has been getting after it this offseason and has been a regular member of the daily workouts at the Youth Academy in West Dallas. He is a talented defensive catcher but still could use more development offensively. Trevino has played in 151 games at Double-A Frisco over the past two years, hitting .239 with a .278 on-base percentage and a .326 slugging percentage. There is room for improvement.

I realize we are in a rebuilding time, but I would like to see the Rangers bring in a veteran right-handed bat on a two-year deal to bridge the gap for the up-and-coming outfielders. 
-- Greg K., Sunnyvale, Texas

The guy that seems to make a lot of sense would be Adam Jones, a right-handed-hitting, free-agent outfielder who can play all three positions and can be used at designated hitter. He could also provide some experience and leadership on a young, rebuilding team.

What is general manager Jon Daniels' thought process about signing pitchers that have had Tommy John surgery?
-- Michael G., Dallas

It's a signing that is often misleadingly labeled as a "low-risk, high-reward" proposition. Certainly, the financial outlay is not as significant as it would be for a healthy pitcher, and the hope is the pitcher will eventually be as good or better than he was before the surgery. The reality is, clubs and pitchers have had mixed results in coming back from the procedure.

It seems that the past 2-3 years, the Rangers signed no less than three pitchers who were coming off serious injuries. Those pitchers were almost immediately ordained as starters. Is the front office hoping against hope that it will work out this time? Are they biding time and saving money in an attempt to sign a proven starter or two next year when the new park opens?
-- Jim C., Stephenville, Texas

The Rangers' strategy last offseason and this one has been quite obvious. Their farm system is barren of young pitchers at the top end, and they have an abnormally high number of openings in the Major League rotation. The Rangers have been relentless over the past 18 months in trying to restock their Minor League pitching and have made significant progress. But it has required them to buy in bulk on the free-agent market to rebuild the big league rotation, and they have had to take chances on pitchers with questionable physical and performance issues. If the Rangers' farm system can start being productive again, they can get back to being more selective and more aggressive in playing at the higher end of the free-agent market in the near future.

After the Rangers have gone pitching-strong in the Draft and through trades, I feel like we've built up a good amount of pitching prospects. Now let's look into this year's Draft. What position do you think the Rangers will try to draft next?
-- Miguel G., Arlington, Texas

Pitching. Then once they feel they have enough pitching, they should draft some more. Look, obviously if there is a sure-fire position player that is clearly too good to pass up, then the Rangers should draft him. But all things being equal or close to it ... pitching, pitching, pitching.

Any news on Josh Hamilton? Have the Rangers remained in contact with him? Any plans to put him in the Rangers Hall of Fame or maybe add to the staff as a special assistant to the general manager?
-- Jimmie B., Sweetwater, Texas

At some point, Hamilton would be a strong candidate to be in the Rangers Hall of Fame. Right now, there is no indication of Hamilton looking into a front-office role in baseball.

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.

Texas Rangers

30 best defensive prospects -- 1 for each team

MLB.com

MLB Pipeline recently unveiled its annual All-Defense Team, but there were only so many spots to fill. It made us realize there were so many outstanding defenders across all 30 organizations.

Evaluating defense is still very much subjective, with metrics measuring fielding still imperfect. Still, each system has glovework that stands out more than others, and we considered many to present one best defender from each organization.

MLB Pipeline recently unveiled its annual All-Defense Team, but there were only so many spots to fill. It made us realize there were so many outstanding defenders across all 30 organizations.

Evaluating defense is still very much subjective, with metrics measuring fielding still imperfect. Still, each system has glovework that stands out more than others, and we considered many to present one best defender from each organization.

American League East

Orioles: Cadyn Grenier, SS, No. 9
Grenier's stellar glovework at shortstop was key in helping Oregon State win the 2018 College World Series, and in the process, he established himself as one of the best defensive prospects in the Draft before going to the Orioles as the No. 37 overall pick. With good hands, plus arm strength and plenty of range, Grenier has all the ingredients needed to stick at the position long term.

Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec, 3B, No. 6
Dalbec has always possessed a strong arm and has worked hard to improve his agility and range at third base, with several Red Sox officials rating him as a plus defender and scouts outside the organization grading him more as solid. He also owns prodigious raw power and ranked second in the Minors in extra-base hits (70) and RBIs (109) last year, and fourth in homers (32).

Yankees: Estevan Florial, OF, No. 1 (MLB No. 45)
Florial has some of the best all-around tools in the Minors, with well-above-average raw power, speed and arm strength. He continues to improve as a center fielder, projecting as a plus defender, and has an exceptionally strong arm for the position.

Rays: Lucius Fox, SS, No. 9
While there's no shortage of standout defenders in the highly athletic Rays system, Fox, a top-flight athlete with plus-plus speed, could be the best. He's played shortstop exclusively as a pro and committed 15 errors in 105 games last season while reaching Double-A at age 21. His athleticism makes him an electrifying defender, and he has the requisite physical tools to remain at the position for the long haul.

Video: EAST@WEST: Fox showcases range, slick glove in 3rd

Blue Jays: Kevin Vicuna, SS, unranked
The Blue Jays felt so good about Vicuna's defense in 2017 that they had the then-19-year-old handle shortstop duties for Class A Advanced Dunedin from April 23-June 1, even though Vicuna previously had never played above the Rookie Gulf Coast League. He's an athletic and, at times, flashy defender, with quick, twitchy hands that help him absorb anything hit his way and a quick release that causes his average arm strength to play up across the infield.

AL Central

White Sox: Nick Madrigal, 2B, No. 5 (MLB No. 49)
The White Sox may try Madrigal at shortstop, because he has the hands and actions to thrive there, but his average arm makes him a better fit at second base. With his quickness and instincts, he could be a Gold Glove Award winner at the keystone, and he also rated as the best pure hitter in the 2018 Draft, where he went No. 4 overall.

Video: Top Prospects: Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox

Indians: Eric Haase, C, No. 27
Haase reached the Majors for the first time late last season, seven years after the Indians took him in the seventh round of the 2011 Draft. Though he's blossomed on both sides of the ball during the past two seasons, it's been Haase's defensive gains that have helped him climb the Tribe's depth chart. After throwing out 37 percent of attempted basestealers in 2017, Haase improved that mark to nearly 49 percent in '18 (33 of 68).

Tigers: Jake Rogers, C, No. 12
The Tigers got Rogers as part of the Justin Verlander deal, and in Rogers' first full season with the organization, he cemented himself as the game's best defensive catching prospect, earning a spot on MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team for the second year in a row. He threw out 55.6 percent of potential basestealers in 2018, upping his career rate to 48.5 percent.

Royals: Sebastian Rivero, C, unranked
M.J. Melendez is very athletic for a catcher and has a chance to become a plus defender with an arm to match. Yet South Atlantic League managers rated Rivero, his teammate at Lexington last summer, the low Class A circuit's best defensive backstop in a Baseball America survey last year. The Royals liken Rivero to a young Salvador Perez, and in addition to his physical ability, Rivero also draws raves for his leadership skills, intelligence and work ethic.

Twins: Gilberto Celestino, OF, No. 14
Signed by the Astros for $2.5 million in 2015, Celestino made his United States debut in '17, then got dealt to the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade last season. He's drawn comparisons to Albert Almora Jr. for his instincts in center, and coaches in Elizabethton feel he's one of the best defenders they've ever seen.

AL West

Astros: Myles Straw, OF, No. 15
Straw has double-plus speed that gives him tremendous range in center field, where his plus arm also stands out at a position not noted for strong throwers. That quickness also plays well on the bases (he topped the Minors with 70 steals in only 79 attempts in 2018) and allows him to beat out hits (he led the Minors with a .358 batting average in '16).

Angels: Jordyn Adams, OF, No. 6
The Angels signed Adams away from playing football and baseball at North Carolina, and he immediately put his tools on display during his pro debut and during instructs. He's still raw, but the Angels feel he has elite range and the highest ceiling as a defender in the organization.

A's: Nick Allen, SS, No. 15
Allen was viewed by many scouts as perhaps the best defensive prospect available in the 2017 Draft, and he's done nothing to diminish that reputation after signing for more than double slot value as the A's third-round pick. There is no doubt among scouts that Allen can stick at shortstop. He's already a plus defender there, with outstanding range that leads to many highlight-reel plays and plus arm strength that allows him to make throws from all over the diamond.

Mariners: Evan White, 1B, No. 5
It's not often a first baseman is mentioned as one of the premier defensive players in the Minors, but that's the reality with White, who recently was named to the All-Defense Team. All signs point to him becoming a Gold Glove Award winner at the position, as he's athletic with outstanding footwork, a strong arm and plus range. His ability to pick throws is elite, and he makes every infielder on his team better as a result.

Video: Top Prospects: Evan White, 1B, Mariners

Rangers: Jose Trevino, C, No. 28
Trevino won Rawlings Minor League Gold Gloves in both 2016 and '17, before surgery on his non-throwing shoulder last July squashed any chances of a three-peat. He's an outstanding receiver and blocker, gets the most out of his strong arm with a quick release and accurate throws and also earns high marks for his ability to run a pitching staff.

National League East

Braves: Cristian Pache, OF, No. 6  (MLB No. 68)
Pache is generally considered to be the best defender in the Minor Leagues, leading our All-Defense Prospect Team. He has the speed and instincts to be a Gold Glove center fielder to go along with a right fielder's arm.

Video: Mayo looks at MLB Pipeline's 2019 All-Defense Team

Marlins: Jose Devers, SS/2B, No. 13
The cousin of Red Sox third basemen Rafael Devers, Jose was acquired by the Marlins last offseason in the blockbuster trade that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx. While he doesn't have his cousin's offensive profile, Devers is a far superior defender, with the soft hands, slick footwork and strong arm needed to be a big league shortstop. He showcased his defensive prowess last season, committing only seven errors and posting a .971 fielding percentage as an 18-year-old in full-season ball.

Mets: Andres Gimenez, SS, No. 1 (MLB No. 55)
The shortstop on our All-Defense Team, Gimenez reached Double-A in 2018 as a teenager. While he needs to add strength offensively, he has everything he needs to play shortstop defensively in the big leagues. He has plus hands, range and the internal clock to allow him to slow the game down.

Phillies: Luis Garcia, SS, No. 14
Signed for $2.5 million in July 2017, Garcia had a tremendous debut in the Gulf Coast League in '18 on both sides of the ball. He has a strong arm to go along with terrific hands and feet, and speed that gives him excellent range to stay at shortstop long term. He's only going to get better as he matures.

Nationals: Victor Robles, OF, No. 1 (MLB No. 4)
Revered as one of the top defenders in the Minor Leagues and a member of MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team, Robles has game-changing abilities in center field. His near top-of-the-scale speed gives him range for days in center field, and he's made strides in improving both his reads and routes in the past two years. His plus-plus arm is among the strongest in the Minors, and he totaled 29 outfield assists from 2016-17 before an injury-plagued campaign in '18.

Video: Top Prospects: Victor Robles, OF, Nationals

NL Central

Cubs: Miguel Amaya, C, No. 1 (MLB No. 87)
Amaya's defensive ability and makeup led the Cubs to sign him for $1.25 million out of Panama in 2015, and he continues to impress even though he has been pushed aggressively in the Minors. His aptitude to frame and block pitches is advanced for a teenager, and his arm strength has improved to at least solid and plays up because of his quick transfer and accuracy.

Reds: Mike Siani, OF, No. 9
The Reds' fourth-round pick got first-round money to sign because of his all-around tools. But his defensive skills have long stood out, and he might have been the best defensive outfielder in the 2018 Draft class, with the ability to cover a ton of ground in center and an arm that allowed him to throw low-90s fastballs from the mound in high school.

Brewers: Payton Henry, C, No. 11
A sixth-round pick in 2016 who signed for nearly twice his slot value, Henry threw out nearly 44 percent (46 of 105) of attempted basestealers and had only six passed balls in his first full season. A quick release and a strong, accurate arm help Henry to combat the running game, and evaluators have been impressed with how he's developed a receiving style that utilizes his big, athletic frame. Henry is also praised for his energy and leadership skills.

Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, No. 2 (MLB No. 48)
Hayes was the third baseman on our All-Defense Team, and for good reason. He entered pro ball as one of the better defenders at the hot corner, but he's gotten even better as he's committed himself to his conditioning, adding to his agility and range to make him the best in the Minors at the position.

Cardinals: Delvin Perez, SS, No. 28
The Cardinals' first-round pick in 2016 has had trouble finding any traction offensively, but there are no concerns about his defensive chops. He gets plus grades on his arm and his overall fielding, thanks to a plus arm when he needs it, above-average hands and plus speed that helps him cover a lot of ground.

NL West

D-backs: Geraldo Perdomo, SS, No. 21
Perdomo's United States debut in 2018 was solid all-around, and he even earned a promotion from the Arizona Rookie League to the Pioneer League in the process. Tall and rangy, the teenager has shown the tools to stay at shortstop long term with outstanding range, actions and hands to go with a strong arm.

Rockies: Yonathan Daza, OF, No. 18
Thanks to his plus speed and fine instincts, Daza covers a lot of ground in center field, and he possesses a plus-plus arm that stands out at his position. He's also a career .310 hitter who won the Class A Advanced California League batting title in 2017 with a .341 mark.

Dodgers: Will Smith, C, No. 5
An outstanding athlete for a catcher, Smith has already shown that he's capable of playing third base and filling in at second. He has very soft hands and impressive agility, making him a fine receiver and framer, and he has a solid arm that plays better than that because of his fast footwork.

Padres: Buddy Reed, OF, No. 13
A member of MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team, Reed's 70-grade speed and long, gliding strides allow him to cover huge swaths of territory in center field -- and he showcased that with his catch in last year's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Reed also has a strong arm and recorded 12 outfield assists in 2018, surpassing his combined total from his first two seasons.

Video: WLD@USA: Reed wired up, makes great grab at the wall

Giants: Joey Bart, C, No. 1 (MLB No. 23)
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, Bart draws more attention with his bat, but his work behind the plate is impressive as well. He has improved markedly since high school, when scouts wondered if he could stay at catcher, enhancing his agility and receiving and improving the accuracy of his strong arm.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

After setback, Tolleson announces retirement

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Reliever Shawn Tolleson, who was the Rangers' Pitcher of the Year in 2015, has decided to retire from baseball after experiencing another setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

"It just wasn't happening no matter how much work I put into it," Tolleson said. "I have been driving to Arlington every day for the last year, putting in the time to get myself into extremely good shape, but it just wasn't happening. My elbow was not ready to throw a baseball like it used to."

ARLINGTON -- Reliever Shawn Tolleson, who was the Rangers' Pitcher of the Year in 2015, has decided to retire from baseball after experiencing another setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

"It just wasn't happening no matter how much work I put into it," Tolleson said. "I have been driving to Arlington every day for the last year, putting in the time to get myself into extremely good shape, but it just wasn't happening. My elbow was not ready to throw a baseball like it used to."

Tolleson pitched for Texas from 2014-16 before signing as a free agent with Tampa Bay. But he never pitched for the Rays, as he underwent Tommy John surgery on May 17, 2017.

The Rangers signed him as a Minor League free agent last winter in the hopes that he would be able to pitch again at some point during the 2018 season. But he suffered a strained right flexor tendon at the end of Spring Training and did not pitch at all last season.

Instead, Tolleson continued to rehab the elbow, and Texas offered him a chance to compete for a job in Spring Training this year on a Minor League contract. Tolleson said everything was going well until the flexor tendon started bothering him while warming up on Friday.

"Just felt that I reaggravated my elbow," Tolleson said. "Over the weekend it didn't get any better, and I started having a lot of doubts creep into my head as to whether this was God's plan for me or not. I just felt it was the exact same injury that took me several months to get over the first time."

Tolleson had the elbow examined but did not bother with another MRI. He knew he had the same injury that set him back last season.

Tweet from @Rangers: RHP Shawn Tolleson, who had been rehabbing the past two years from an elbow ligament injury, has officially announced his retirement.Best of luck in your next endeavor, Shawn! #TollyTime pic.twitter.com/no6nQGMmvu

"For the last three months, everything has been going good, everything has been smooth," Tolleson said. "My bullpens were good and my arm felt good, and I was actually feeling really confident and excited about coming to Spring Training and competing for a spot.

"When the injury first occurred on Friday, I was very discouraged and bummed by it. I had already made the decision, I am going to give it a year and do everything I can possible it takes to make it to Spring Training and compete for a spot. I told myself if I am not ready by Spring Training 2019, it is probably about time to do something else."

Tolleson discussed the situation with his wife, Lynley, and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels before making a final decision. Daniels told Tolleson that if he wasn't ready to compete for a job in Spring Training, it would be better if he didn't come at all. Daniels also told him that Texas wouldn't likely have any room at Triple-A, either.

Tolleson said Daniels spoke very respectfully, and he appreciated the honesty.

"It made my decision easier," Tolleson said. "What I was praying for was clarity in the decision, and [Daniels] was very very helpful in helping me make that. I just came to terms it was time to move on."

Tolleson and his family still live in Allen, the town north of Dallas where he grew up. He had already been through one Tommy John surgery as a senior at Allen High School.

He recovered from that and pitched at Baylor before being selected by the Dodgers in the 30th round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He pitched for Los Angeles as a reliever in '12 but missed most of '13 because of back surgery.

Texas claimed him off waivers that winter, and it wound up being one of the shrewdest moves they ever made. Tolleson was an effective reliever in 2014, pitching in 64 games with a record of 3-1, a 2.76 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

The following season, Tolleson became the Rangers' closer and saved 35 games for a team that won the American League West title. But he wasn't the same pitcher in 2016. He lost his job as closer, landed on the disabled list with more back issues and became a free agent after refusing outright assignment.

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.

Texas Rangers, Shawn Tolleson

Rangers' rotation set, but could use more depth

Daniels wants to 'make sure we are covered' after veteran starters hit hard by recent injuries
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers could have a set rotation in place right now if they are content to go into the season with three starters who underwent Tommy John surgery within the past two years.

That's the mystery surrounding Texas with less than a month to go before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. The Rangers have five veteran starters in place, but all have undergone significant recent physical issues in their careers.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers could have a set rotation in place right now if they are content to go into the season with three starters who underwent Tommy John surgery within the past two years.

That's the mystery surrounding Texas with less than a month to go before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. The Rangers have five veteran starters in place, but all have undergone significant recent physical issues in their careers.

It would seem unlikely that Texas would go to camp without at least adding more depth.

"We just want to make sure we are covered," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We could add a guy on a guaranteed deal, or guys on a protection [Minor League] deal. We are staying in contact with players in a few different areas. We need to add to the infield, and the bullpen is a concern. We still could add to the starting rotation."

The Rangers had a similar outlook about the group they began the season with last year. Cole Hamels headed a group that included Doug Fister, Martin Perez, Matt Moore and Mike Minor, and they were collectively unable to hold up.

Only Minor made it through a full season for Texas, and its list of starters wound up including Bartolo Colon, Yovani Gallardo and Drew Hutchison. Overall, Rangers' starters were 43-68, with a 5.37 ERA that was the club's highest since 2008.

Here is where the 2019 rotation stands right now:

Who is returning?
Minor made a successful transition back to starter last season after missing 2015-16 while recovering from a torn labrum in his left shoulder and pitching in relief for the Royals in '17. He was 12-8 with a 4.18 ERA in 28 starts and 157 innings for Texas, including 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 starts after the All-Star break. He finished with a 1.12 WHIP, the eighth lowest in club history for a minimum of 25 starts and the second lowest in the past 27 seasons.

Video: TEX@SD: Minor strikes out 7 in 6 1/3 innings, doubles

There was a possibility earlier this offseason the Rangers might trade Minor for young prospects, but that talk has cooled lately.

Edinson Volquez is back for the second season of his two-year contract. Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 4, 2017, while with the Marlins, and Texas signed him in Spring Training of '18 knowing that he would not pitch at all during the season. He is expected to be at full strength when camp opens in February.

Who is new?
The Rangers acquired Drew Smyly from the Cubs in November even though he missed the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is also expected to be at full strength for Spring Training. Smyly has had to overcome quite a few issues in his career, but from 2012-16, he had a 3.74 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP with the Tigers and Rays while averaging 8.7 strikeouts and 2.5 walks per nine innings.

Shelby Miller had his Tommy John surgery on May 10, 2017, while with the D-backs. He was able to make four starts and one relief appearance for Arizona last year, going 0-4 with a 10.69 ERA. If he is healthy, Texas remembers a pitcher who won 15 games for the Cardinals in '13 and was an All-Star for the Braves in '15.

Video: Shelby Miller on his rehab, joining the Rangers

Lance Lynn, who agreed to a three-year deal with the Rangers in December, missed all of 2016 because of Tommy John surgery, but has made 49 starts and two relief appearances for the Cardinals, Twins and Yankees the past two years. He joins Minor to give Texas two dependable starters at the top of the rotation.

Who could challenge for a spot?
Left-hander Yohander Mendez and right-hander Ariel Jurado had mixed success for Texas this past season. Mendez was 2-2 with a 5.53 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in five starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers, and Jurado was 5-5 with a 5.93 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in eight starts and four relief appearances.

Mendez needs better command of his fastball, while Jurado needs to improve the quality of his secondary pitches. Unless they show dramatic improvement in Spring Training, Texas would prefer they start the season in the Minors.

Video: TEX@SD: Mendez K's 5 over 5 scoreless relief innings

Who are the dark horses?
Right-handers Jesse Chavez, Rafael Montero and Luke Farrell have been used as starters and relievers at the big league level. So far, the Rangers have preferred to use Chavez out of the bullpen and that appears to be the original intent now. Montero is another Tommy John product who won't be ready for the start of the season. Adrian Sampson isn't overpowering but had a 3.57 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in four starts at the end of last season.

Who is left in free agency?
Starting with Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez, there are enough pitchers left on the free-agent market to build a rotation from scratch. Beyond those two, it's a matter of identifying which pitchers are ready to make a big comeback the way Clay Buchholz did with the D-backs and Wade Miley did for the Brewers last year.

Maybe this is the year to take a flyer on comeback seasons from previously successful Marco Estrada, Drew Pomeranz or Josh Tomlin. More than one team is going to look really smart by signing the right guy this winter.

Maybe it is Perez. He is only 27 and still available after the Rangers did not pick up his option.

Video: OAK@TEX: Perez limits A's to 1 run over 6 innings

Whoever it is, Texas is sure to add more starting pitching before the market is exhausted.

Who else is in the pipeline? (MLB Pipeline rankings)
No. 3 Cole Winn RHP (age: 19, highest level: Hasn't pitched yet)
No. 4 Hans Crouse, RHP (age: 20, highest level: Class A Hickory)
No. 5 Jonathan Hernandez, RHP (age: 22, highest level: Double-A Frisco)
No. 6 Brock Burke, LHP (age 22, highest level: Double-A Montgomery)
No. 7 Taylor Hearn, LHP (age: 24, highest level: Double-A Frisco)
No. 8 Joe Palumbo, LHP (age 24, highest level: Double-A Frisco)
No. 9 Cole Ragans, LHP (age 21, highest level: Class A Short-Season Spokane)

Projected rotation: (2018 stats)
1. Mike Minor LHP (12-8, 4.18 ERA, 157 IP, 3.7 WAR)
2. Lance Lynn RHP (10-10, 4.77 ERA, 156 2/3 IP, 0.9 WAR)
3. Drew Smyly LHP (Did not pitch)
4. Edinson Volquez RHP (Did not pitch)
5. Shelby Miller RHP (0-4, 10.69, 16 IP, - 1.1 WAR)

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.

Texas Rangers

First Spring Training workout dates for all clubs

MLB.com

Major League Baseball has revealed the first Spring Training workout dates for pitchers and catchers and those for the full squads for all 30 clubs. MLB also announced game times for all Cactus and Grapefruit League action in February and March.

Major League Baseball has revealed the first Spring Training workout dates for pitchers and catchers and those for the full squads for all 30 clubs. MLB also announced game times for all Cactus and Grapefruit League action in February and March.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The A's, fresh off their surprise run to the 2018 American League Wild Card Game, will be the first club to have its pitchers and catchers report. They'll do so on Monday, Feb. 11, followed by the Indians and Mariners on Feb. 12 and the remainder of MLB clubs in the days following. Oakland and Seattle will travel to Tokyo to stage two exhibition games each against Japanese teams on March 17-18, followed by the first two games of the 2019 regular season on March 20-21 at Tokyo Dome.

Complete Spring Training schedule

Oakland and Seattle will hold their first full-squad workouts on Saturday, Feb. 16, in Arizona, with the rest of MLB following suit in the days after. The Braves will be the last club to hold its first full-squad workout, doing so on Thursday, Feb. 21. The A's and Mariners open Cactus League action with a matchup on Feb. 21, and the Rays and Phillies open up Grapefruit League action the following day. The Red Sox and Tigers will play exhibition games against college teams on Feb. 22.

Here are first-workout dates for pitchers and catchers and full squads for each team:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Angels: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Astros: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Athletics: Feb. 11/Feb. 16
Blue Jays: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Indians: Feb. 12/Feb. 18
Mariners: Feb. 12/Feb. 16
Orioles: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rangers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rays: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Red Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Royals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Tigers: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Twins: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
White Sox: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Yankees: Feb. 14/Feb. 19

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Braves: Feb. 16/Feb. 21
Brewers: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Cardinals: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Cubs: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Diamondbacks: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Dodgers: Feb. 13/Feb. 19
Giants: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Marlins: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Mets: Feb. 14/Feb. 18
Nationals: Feb. 14/Feb. 19
Padres: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Phillies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Pirates: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Reds: Feb. 13/Feb. 18
Rockies: Feb. 13/Feb. 18

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Rangers claim Andreoli for outfield depth

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added significant speed to their outfield depth by claiming outfielder John Andreoli off waivers from the Mariners on Tuesday.

Andreoli also gives the club some international experience, having played for Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Andreoli was 6-for-19 with three home runs for Italy in the Classic. He is also described as a "football player in a baseball jersey."

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added significant speed to their outfield depth by claiming outfielder John Andreoli off waivers from the Mariners on Tuesday.

Andreoli also gives the club some international experience, having played for Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Andreoli was 6-for-19 with three home runs for Italy in the Classic. He is also described as a "football player in a baseball jersey."

Despite that show of power, Andreoli is more of a speed/defense/on-base guy. He is similar in that regard to Delino DeShields and Carlos Tocci, so Andreoli gives the Rangers some protection behind those two.

"He has good, aggressive makeup and instincts," Rangers pro scouting director Josh Boyd said. "He has demonstrated on-base skills and is a solid defender who can play all three outfield positions."

Andreoli, 28, is an eight-year veteran who made his Major League debut last season with the Mariners and Orioles. He played in a combined 26 games between the teams and, as a right-handed hitter, he batted .230 with a .284 on-base percentage and a .262 slugging percentage. At 29.8 feet per second, he had the fastest sprint speed of any left fielder in the Majors last season.

Video: OAK@BAL: Andreoli plates Mancini with infield single

Andreoli was originally selected by the Cubs in the 17th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of the University of Connecticut. He became a Minor League free agent after the 2017 season and signed with the Mariners. The Orioles claimed him off waivers on Aug. 18 and the Mariners claimed him back after the season. The Mariners designated him for assignment on Jan. 10.

Andreoli has spent most of the past four seasons with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and also with the Tacoma Rainiers in 2018. Over those four years, he played in 454 Triple-A games, hitting .264 with a .371 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage.

Andreoli also had 121 stolen bases, including 43 for Iowa in 2016. His career high is 55 with Class A Daytona of the Florida State League in '12. He has played all three outfield positions in the Minor Leagues with slightly more experience in left than the other two spots.

His father, John, is a former professional football player, while his two cousins, Daniel and Luke Bard, have both pitched in the Major Leagues.

But there is no guarantee the Rangers will be able to keep Andreoli on the 40-man roster. The club has 39 players on the roster and is still looking for more starting pitching, relievers and infield depth, especially at third base.

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.

Texas Rangers, John Andreoli

The MLB.com Hall of Fame ballot results are ...

MLB.com

Six MLB.com writers were among those eligible to cast ballots in the 2019 Hall of Fame vote conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

• Complete Hall of Fame coverage

Six MLB.com writers were among those eligible to cast ballots in the 2019 Hall of Fame vote conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

• Complete Hall of Fame coverage

As many as four candidates -- and possibly more -- could be elected, according to the public ballots amassed online. Here's a look at how the six voted, and at the bottom you can see what the totals look like among this group:

T.R. Sullivan
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Roy Halladay
4. Edgar Martinez
5. Fred McGriff
6. Mike Mussina
7. Mariano Rivera
8. Billy Wagner
9. Larry Walker
10. Michael Young

There are many offensive players who could/should be elected based on their career numbers. I strongly believe McGriff is unfairly overlooked because he was one of the last great hitters before the offensive explosion of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Mussina also thrived as a starting pitcher in the American League right in the thick of that era. It should not have taken him this long to be elected. I'm not big on comparables, but Wagner was every bit as good of a reliever as Rivera or Trevor Hoffman.

Video: MLB Tonight on Mike Mussina's Hall of Fame case

Mark Feinsand
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Roy Halladay
4. Edgar Martinez
5. Mike Mussina
6. Manny Ramirez
7. Mariano Rivera
8. Curt Schilling
9. Gary Sheffield
10. Omar Vizquel

Three of the players I voted for a year ago -- Vladimir Guerrero, Chipper Jones and Jim Thome -- were inducted into the Hall, so the holdovers (Bonds, Clemens, Edgar, Mussina, Manny, Schilling and Sheffield) took up the first seven spots on my ballot.

That left me with up to three open spots to fill. Rivera was an obvious choice for one of them in his first time on the ballot, as was Halladay, who, despite a modest win total (203), was one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation. Although I delved into their statistics to confirm what I already knew, these two were no-brainers.

Video: Roy Halladay's case for the Hall of Fame

The final spot was a little more difficult. After a first examination of the 26 players, I narrowed down my choice to Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Fred McGriff, Andy Pettitte, Scott Rolen, Vizquel, Larry Walker and Vernon Wells. (OK, Wells wasn't really on my list, but he was one of my favorite players I ever covered, so I considered using my last spot for him for about 30 seconds.)

Although I probably would have voted for five or six of these players had the ballot been open-ended and without the 10-man limit, my choice ultimately came down to two: Pettitte and Vizquel.

Pettitte is viewed by many as a borderline candidate, a take I can't argue with. While his candidacy might be seen differently by voters, I think he belongs in the conversation. (Based on my voting history, I'm obviously not holding his HGH admission against him.) Having seen similar players such as Jorge Posada, Kenny Lofton and Johan Santana fall off the ballot in their first years, I considered voting for Pettitte in an effort to help him get the requisite 5 percent for him to be on the ballot again next year.

Ultimately, Vizquel's excellence in the field (he took home 11 Gold Gloves and is in the conversation as the best defensive shortstop ever) won out. He might not have been an offensive force, but Vizquel was far from an automatic out, finishing his career with 2,877 hits. Pettitte had a great career and will likely be in the mix for my vote again next year, but my belief that Vizquel should be in the Hall outweighed my hopes of seeing Pettitte remain on the ballot.

Jeffrey Flanagan
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Roy Halladay
4. Andruw Jones
5. Edgar Martinez
6. Mike Mussina
7. Manny Ramirez
8. Mariano Rivera
9. Curt Schilling
10. Larry Walker

It was difficult leaving off McGriff and Rolen, but we only get 10 spots, which is why I've always favored a binary system -- simply yes or no to each candidate. As for the PED issue, my stance hasn't really changed: If what they did (or didn't) do is so egregious, the Hall of Fame should take those players off the ballot. Don't make us be the morality judges.

Video: MLB Network debates Bonds, Clemens' merits for HOF

Richard Justice
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Roy Halladay
4. Edgar Martinez
5. Mike Mussina
6. Mariano Rivera
7. Scott Rolen
8. Curt Schilling
9. Billy Wagner
10. Larry Walker

Easy calls on nine of the 10. All belong in the Hall. As for Wagner, he's one of greatest closers ever, and if they're part of the game (same for DHs), the best of them should be in the Hall. I didn't like leaving off Andruw Jones, Todd Helton, Jeff Kent, Omar Vizquel, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield, who at least deserve to be in the conversation longer.

Jon Paul Morosi
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Roy Halladay
4. Edgar Martinez
5. Fred McGriff
6. Mike Mussina
7. Mariano Rivera
8. Scott Rolen
9. Curt Schilling
10. Larry Walker

I voted for Bonds and Clemens, as I have every year. For now, at least, my policy regarding players tied to PED use remains unchanged: I do not vote for players suspended under MLB's drug policy from 2005 to present, but I support the best all-around players from the complicated era that preceded it.

Rivera is one of the clearest first-ballot Hall of Famers in history, and Halladay's dominant peak (in a hitter-friendly ballpark, against AL East competition) makes him worthy of the Hall. McGriff, overlooked for far too long, hit more home runs -- with a better adjusted OPS -- than first-ballot Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski; McGriff is eminently qualified for Cooperstown.

My toughest decision came among Rolen, Vizquel and Sheffield for the last of my 10 spots. I opted for Rolen, given the overall quality of his career, at a position underrepresented in the Hall. Rolen is one of only three third basemen in history with at least seven Gold Gloves and seven All-Star appearances. The others are Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt.

Video: MLB Network on Edgar Martinez's case for the HOF

Chris Haft
1. Barry Bonds
2. Roger Clemens
3. Roy Halladay
4. Jeff Kent
5. Edgar Martinez
6. Mike Mussina
7. Mariano Rivera
8. Curt Schilling
9. Omar Vizquel
10. Larry Walker

Rivera's career forestalls debate. And if you feel free to vote for closers, you should feel free to vote for other specialists, such as Martinez the designated hitter. I dismounted my moral high horse regarding Bonds and Clemens two or three years ago. I needed some persuasion to vote for Walker; by contrast, I remained stubbornly loyal to Kent. Mussina embodied consistency; Schilling dominated the postseason and Halladay finished 98 games above .500 in just 390 starts. As for Vizquel, I pity those who can't or won't comprehend his excellence.

Vote totals of the 6 MLB.com writers

With 75 percent of the vote needed for entry to the Hall, Bonds, Martinez, Rivera, Mussina, Clemens, Halladay, Schilling and Walker received enough support -- the first six appearing on all six ballots, and the other two appearing on five of six ballots (83 percent) -- from MLB.com writers.

Barry Bonds -- 6 votes
Roger Clemens -- 6
Roy Halladay -- 6
Edgar Martinez -- 6
Mike Mussina -- 6
Mariano Rivera -- 6
Curt Schilling -- 5
Larry Walker -- 5
Fred McGriff -- 2
Manny Ramirez -- 2
Scott Rolen -- 2
Omar Vizquel -- 2
Billy Wagner -- 2
Andruw Jones -- 1
Jeff Kent -- 1
Gary Sheffield -- 1
Michael Young -- 1

Rangers work out at Youth Academy

MLB.com

DALLAS -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is retired but his workout facility is not. Adrian Beltre Field indoors at the Texas Rangers MLB Academy in West Dallas was busy on a cold Monday morning this week.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was playing long-toss with field coordinator Jayce Tingler while Joey Gallo was inside the batting cage getting tips from new batting coach Luis Ortiz. One cage over, assistant hitting coach Callix Crabbe was throwing soft toss to Willie Calhoun.

DALLAS -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is retired but his workout facility is not. Adrian Beltre Field indoors at the Texas Rangers MLB Academy in West Dallas was busy on a cold Monday morning this week.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was playing long-toss with field coordinator Jayce Tingler while Joey Gallo was inside the batting cage getting tips from new batting coach Luis Ortiz. One cage over, assistant hitting coach Callix Crabbe was throwing soft toss to Willie Calhoun.

Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields, Rougned Odor and Jose Trevino waited patiently for their turn while Elvis Andrus … well, he was doing what Elvis Andrus does, talking and booming his music so all could hear.

A great time was being had by all, because something totally unforeseen has taken place at the Texas Rangers Youth Academy at the Mercy Street Sports Complex.

A facility built for children has become the daily workout spot for the Rangers players this offseason. Gallo, Andrus, Choo, Mazara and the others are working out in the same facility used by Dallas Pinkston High School's baseball and softball teams.

"It's nice … really nice," Choo said. "I don't think we have any kind of facility like this in Korea. This has everything we need."

The complex officially opened Dec. 19, 2017. At the time, the inside joke was that the facility was so good, you could train a Major League team there.

That is no longer a joke.

"No … it is very much a reality," Tingler said. "The timing is great. The kids are at school, so we have the place all to ourselves. The coaches were trying to come up with stuff that we couldn't do here, and we were hard-pressed to think of anything."

Adrian Beltre Field -- made possible by a donation from the future Hall of Famer -- is the indoor facility with field turf. It is the size of a football field, so the Rangers can do almost anything needed, from taking their swings in the batting cages, to stretching and running, or taking ground balls and fly balls.

There are bullpen mounds in another part of the complex, although right now, pitchers are just doing flat-ground throwing at this point in the offseason. Nick Gardewine, Jeffrey Springs and Taylor Hearn were among the pitchers working out Monday morning.

There is also a weight room. The only problem there is that it was donated by Odor, so his photos are prominently displayed all over the walls. Upstairs there are classrooms and a kitchen.

Beltre's indoor field is the difference-maker, and the one thing about the Academy that sets it apart from Globe Life Park. If the Rangers want to do full baseball activities there, they have to go outside, which isn't a desirable notion in January. The Rangers used to have to borrow the football fieldhouses at local high schools if they wanted a full indoor workout in the winter.

No more.

"We have been working together the last three or four years in the offseason, but a place like this is really special," DeShields said. "We are able to work together, push each other, talk to each other about our goals for the season, help each other. I love this spot."

This was not planned. The Academy was built in West Dallas, a couple miles outside of downtown, with the full intention of providing baseball and softball opportunities to local youth. It is one of eight Major League academies around the country, with more in the works. But many of the Rangers' players live in Dallas, and this winter they discovered the benefits of using the Academy. Next week, Texas will hold its annual mid-winter minicamp at the Academy rather than Globe Life Park. The classrooms will get as much use as the weight room and field.

"It's great because it is so close," Gallo said. "Everybody lives in Dallas, so you are 10 minutes away. It's great to walk onto Adrian Beltre Field, see his number painted there, his pictures on the wall. It's like he is here with us. Rougie has his weight room. That's really cool.

"Hopefully one day I can make a contribution like that and be a part of this."

The Rangers do their workouts here in the mornings during the week. The rest of the time, the Academy is devoted to its original mission of serving the boys, girls and families of Dallas and North Texas.

More than 1,000 boys and girls participated in the Youth Fall Training Academy last autumn, and many more will be filling up the spring and summer leagues. Teams from the Academy participated last year in the RBI Southwest Regional Tournament in Austin, and the Commissioner's Cup and Jennie Finch Classic, prestigious tournaments held in conjunction with the Major League All-Star Game in Washington D.C.

The Rangers have held Thanksgiving and Christmas parties at the Academy, and the West Dallas Youth College Prep Night, as the Mobile Go Center from Texas Woman's University was there to help students fill out the necessary forms for higher learning.

The Academy has become something special, and the Rangers' players are enjoying it as much as anybody.

"This is amazing," Mazara said. "The kids who get to use this place are going to become spoiled. For us to be able to use it, too, is great."

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.

Texas Rangers, Elvis Andrus, Willie Calhoun, Shin-Soo Choo, Delino DeShields, Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor, Jose Trevino

Rangers honor Greene, celebrate Selig Award

Former mayor helped build Ballpark in Arlington; founded scholarship program
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Former Arlington mayor Richard Greene will forever be an iconic person in the history of the Rangers. He was the one who provided the leadership and the political clout necessary to help get the Ballpark in Arlington built in 1994, back when other cities had designs to swoop in and take the franchise.

Globe Life Park now enters its final season, but Greene remains a prominent figure within the Rangers organization. It was the Richard Greene Scholars Program -- now in its 22nd year -- that led the Rangers to receive the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence at the quarterly owners meeting in November.

ARLINGTON -- Former Arlington mayor Richard Greene will forever be an iconic person in the history of the Rangers. He was the one who provided the leadership and the political clout necessary to help get the Ballpark in Arlington built in 1994, back when other cities had designs to swoop in and take the franchise.

Globe Life Park now enters its final season, but Greene remains a prominent figure within the Rangers organization. It was the Richard Greene Scholars Program -- now in its 22nd year -- that led the Rangers to receive the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence at the quarterly owners meeting in November.

The program has awarded over $1.2 million in scholarships to 126 Arlington ISD high school students, leading young men and women into highly successful careers that Greene said have exceeded the program's expectations.

"It was tremendous to be honored by other team owners and peers," said Neil Leibman, the Rangers Chief Operating Officer. "For the work we have done off the field, it means a tremendous amount to be recognized by the Commissioner and receive the Allan H. Selig Award. The Richard Greene Scholar Program speaks for itself with the number of kids who have gone on to great things."

Some of those recipients were at Globe Life Park on Monday night for a reception to honor Greene and his wife Sylvia, who is the program administrator, and to celebrate the Selig Award.

"It was a great focus on this program nationally that the Commissioner provided us with the award," Greene said. "It made it possible for the Texas Rangers Foundation to tell this story beyond this community, which is appropriate because the impact of these students that have come through this program the past 22 years are spread out all over the country."

Recipients of the program have been able to attend college not only in Texas but across the U.S., including renowned institutions like Harvard, Brown, Stanford and Columbia. They continue to distinguish themselves in a variety of careers including military service, or as doctors, nurses, attorneys and engineers.

"These students are not chosen based on need necessarily, but many times those who are selected have a tremendous need in their life financially," Sylvia Greene said. "This is an amazing experience for them and they have done amazing things. Many of them are pursuing or have gotten a Masters or a PhD before starting out in the professional world."

One of those is Kris Hawbaker, graduate of the Naval Academy. Hawbaker, who graduated from Arlington High School, is currently a naval aviator with the rank of Commander who has served in the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean.

"I think it just gave me an idea of what exists, which was huge," Hawbaker said. "As it turned out, entering the Navy was the idea of community service, community leadership and civic responsibility and how that can translate into service to country, dedicaton and devotion to duty. Those things began here when I saw what existed."

The program was started by former Rangers president Tom Schieffer in collaboration with the late Lynn Hale, who was the Arlington ISD superintendent from 1993-97. It was named for Greene, who spent 10 years as mayor of Arlington and remains active in the community.

One student is chosen from Arlington's six high schools: Arlington, Sam Houston, Martin, Lamar, Bowie and Seguin. They are selected in their junior year.

"The idea was to identify students who not only had academic achievement in their schoolwork, but they had the potential for leadership," Greene said. "They were measured for that through their extracurricular activities and their community involvement."

In their senior year, the six scholarship winners worked in the community in non-profit, local business and local government to get a well-rounded experience. There is also a mentorship program. Once they enter college, they are under the care of Karin Morris and the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, which helps guide them through school.

"These amazing young people have distinguished themselves in ways that exceeded expectations," Greene said. "So, it gives us a great sense of pride in them and the program's success as they honor the Rangers with their continued commitment to it. It really raises that whole level of success we expected when the program was launched. It has been better than we imagined."

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.

Texas Rangers

1 per team: Players who could stay put until 2025

MLB.com

The 2013 season doesn't seem that long ago, does it? It seems like it just happened. (The passage of time is a crazy thing.) But in the world of baseball, it was a long, long time ago. How long? Look at the top 10 hitters and the top 10 pitchers in WAR in '13. Of those 10 hitters and 10 pitchers, only two players on each list (Mike Trout and Joey Votto among the hitters, Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright among the pitchers) are still on the same teams they were just six years ago. That is an astounding amount of turnover, and reminds us how difficult it can be to predict the future.

Nevertheless: Let's try. Today at the Thirty, we attempt to pick the one player on each team's current 40-man roster who is most likely to still be on that roster in six years. Sticking to the current roster raises the level of difficulty. Otherwise, I could just pick Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the Blue Jays, and every other team's top prospect, and be done with it. For this list, you have to be here now and in 2025. The crazy thing about this experiment of guesses: There will be multiple, maybe double-digit, teams that have none.

The 2013 season doesn't seem that long ago, does it? It seems like it just happened. (The passage of time is a crazy thing.) But in the world of baseball, it was a long, long time ago. How long? Look at the top 10 hitters and the top 10 pitchers in WAR in '13. Of those 10 hitters and 10 pitchers, only two players on each list (Mike Trout and Joey Votto among the hitters, Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright among the pitchers) are still on the same teams they were just six years ago. That is an astounding amount of turnover, and reminds us how difficult it can be to predict the future.

Nevertheless: Let's try. Today at the Thirty, we attempt to pick the one player on each team's current 40-man roster who is most likely to still be on that roster in six years. Sticking to the current roster raises the level of difficulty. Otherwise, I could just pick Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the Blue Jays, and every other team's top prospect, and be done with it. For this list, you have to be here now and in 2025. The crazy thing about this experiment of guesses: There will be multiple, maybe double-digit, teams that have none.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

EAST

Blue Jays: Danny Jansen, C
Unlike Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette, he's already on the 40-man roster; he hit three homers in 81 at-bats last season. Like them, he's currently a top-75 prospect.

Orioles: Trey Mancini, OF
The toughest call on the board. The Orioles are starting over in every conceivable way, and there will be a lot of turnover here in the next few years. The guess here is Mancini, who is a fan favorite already and could maybe hang around long enough to be a platoon or bench bat in 2025, when he'll be only 32.

Rays: Willy Adames, SS
Attempting to guess who will be on the Rays' roster in two years, let alone six, is a fool's errand, but Adames is the centerpiece of everything the Rays are going to be trying to do over the next decade.

Red Sox: Mookie Betts, OF
He's a free agent after the 2020 season, but the Red Sox should never let a star like this get away. And he wants to stay

Video: Betts signs record deal to avoid arbitration

Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton, RF
As the guy who is signed through 2027, he's the obvious pick here. Aaron Judge hits free agency in 2023, by the way.

CENTRAL

Indians: Francisco Lindor, SS
It's tough to imagine the Indians letting Lindor go … though they may have to choose between him and Jose Ramirez.

Video: Lindor gets his second career Silver Slugger Award

Royals: Salvador Perez, C
He survived the last teardown. He's their Yadier Molina -- he'll survive any future ones.

Tigers: Jeimer Candelario, 3B
He's more likely than anyone else here to be a member of the next contending Tigers team.

Twins: Max Kepler, OF
Kepler feels like the type of player the Twins would come to some sort of modest, Paul DeJong-esque extension with, doesn't he?

White Sox: Yoan Moncada, 2B
With any luck, Eloy Jimenez will be there right alongside him.

WEST

Angels: Mike Trout, OF
Put it this way: If Mike Trout isn't on the 2025 Angels, everything about that franchise is radically different than it is right now.

Video: Guardado on the latest between Angels and Trout

Astros: Jose Altuve, 2B
Alex Bregman seems like the most likely extension candidate -- Altuve's deal runs out after the 2024 season -- but the Altuve-Astros relationship feels like one that shouldn't be broken.

Athletics: Matt Chapman, 3B
The ideal extension candidate, Chapman could be the face of the franchise whenever it moves into its new digs.

Mariners: Justus Sheffield, LHP
He made his debut in September, so he's on the Mariners' 40-man, even if he might not start the season in the Majors.

Rangers: Rougned Odor, 2B
He, Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo will be free agents following the 2022 season. Here's betting Odor is the one who sticks around, if anybody does.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

EAST

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr.
He'll actually reach free agency after the 2024 season, if you are counting the days. (That's to say: If you're every other team in baseball.)

Video: Snitker on best lineup spot for Acuna Jr. in 2019

Marlins: Lewis Brinson, OF
Considering he remains the primary haul from their trades last offseason, Brinson will get every possible opportunity to prove himself.

Mets: Brandon Nimmo, OF
Though maybe only because first base slugging prospect Peter Alonso isn't on the 40-man yet.

Nationals: Juan Soto, OF
If the Nationals don't extend him, he'll hit the free-agent market with Acuna.

Phillies: Rhys Hoskins, 1B
This answer could very well change depending on how free agency shakes out this offseason.

CENTRAL

Brewers: Josh Hader, LHP
Yes, yes, he's a reliever, but still: He seems like one of the few relievers on earth worthy of talking long-term, under-market extension with, yes?

Cardinals: Paul DeJong, SS
The extension he signed last year gives the Cardinals team options on him in both 2024 and '25, and if he keeps playing like he has been, they'll happily pick them both up. (It's also possible the answer here is Yadier Molina, and may be through 2035.)

Cubs: Kris Bryant, 3B
This will be the most-watched are-they-gonna-extend-him-soon? story in baseball over the next couple of years.

Video: Kris Bryant is the No. 8 third baseman right now

Pirates: Mitch Keller, RHP
He's already on the 40-man, and he might be the best pitcher in an already underrated rotation by season's end.

Reds: Eugenio Suarez, 3B
He's signed through 2024, and the Reds have a club option on him for '25. Also, top prospect Nick Senzel isn't on the 40-man yet.

WEST

D-backs: Ketel Marte, SS
He's already got options for 2023 and '24, and he'll just be into his 30s when the D-backs have to make their next decision on him. Newly acquired catcher Carson Kelly could be the answer here as well.

Dodgers: Corey Seager, SS
Isn't right now the perfect time to start talking extension with Seager?

Giants: Buster Posey, C
As long as Posey is still playing, he'll be a Giant … right, Farhan?

Padres: Franmil Reyes, OF
It's tough to even imagine this kid being 30 someday.

Rockies: Nolan Arenado, 3B
They did a mega-extension with Charlie Blackmon last offseason, so they are clearly willing to go that route. Arenado is eligible for free agency next winter, so we'll find out his long-term fate pretty soon.

Video: Arenado seeks record $30 million in arbitration

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Rangers avoid arb with Mazara, DeShields

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached one-year agreements with outfielders Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields, avoiding a potential arbitration hearing with each player. 

Mazara agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.3 million while DeShields settled at $1.4 million. Friday was the deadline that clubs and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures for their hearings, but the Rangers were able to settle with both Mazara and DeShields before that point.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached one-year agreements with outfielders Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields, avoiding a potential arbitration hearing with each player. 

Mazara agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.3 million while DeShields settled at $1.4 million. Friday was the deadline that clubs and arbitration-eligible players to exchange figures for their hearings, but the Rangers were able to settle with both Mazara and DeShields before that point.

Mazara and DeShields are in their first year of arbitration eligibility and can't become free agents until after the 2021 season. Mazara made $563,560 in '18 while DeShields made $561,500.

Latest Hot Stove rumors

Both had trying seasons. Mazara, 23, suffered a sprained right thumb just before the All-Star break and had to deal with it the rest of the season. He ended up playing in 128 games and hit .258 with 20 home runs, 77 RBIs and a .436 slugging percentage. He hit .221 with a .397 slugging percentage over his final 37 games while playing through the injury.

Video: TEX@LAA: DeShields runs down Simmons' liner in 4th

DeShields, 26, also had physical issues and went on the disabled list three different times during the season. He was on the disabled list from March 31 to April 21 with a broken bone in his left hand. He also was on the seven-day concussion protocol from Aug. 3-11 and missed two weeks at the end of August with a fracture on the tip of his right middle finger.

DeShields ended up hitting .216 with a .310 on-base percentage and a .281 slugging percentage. He did lead the Rangers with 20 stolen bases and is still the leading candidate to be the Rangers center fielder/leadoff hitter.

The Rangers have not gone to an arbitration hearing with one of their players since Lee Stevens in 2000.

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.

Texas Rangers, Delino DeShields, Nomar Mazara

Inbox: Should Rangers deal Choo for prospects?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers questions from fans
MLB.com

If the team is trying to become more competitive in the years following 2019, why is more of an effort not being made to move Shin-Soo Choo and use some of those savings on other areas? Is his veteran presence more valued after the Adrian Beltre retirement? I don't imagine he will be a part of the next great Rangers team.
-- Alex W., Austin, Texas

If the team is trying to become more competitive in the years following 2019, why is more of an effort not being made to move Shin-Soo Choo and use some of those savings on other areas? Is his veteran presence more valued after the Adrian Beltre retirement? I don't imagine he will be a part of the next great Rangers team.
-- Alex W., Austin, Texas

:: Submit a question to the Rangers Inbox ::

Everybody on the Rangers is theoretically available during the rebuild, and that includes Choo. That said, Choo is 36, signed for two more years at $42 million, and he probably has higher value as a designated hitter than an outfielder. The Rangers are trying to acquire good, young pitching, and it's hard to see a club giving that up right now for Choo, especially a National League team. It may end up being a different scenario closer to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline than in the offseason. Choo is still a productive player, but he does have some limitations.

Ronald Guzman was a pleasant surprise after coming up earlier than expected last year. However, with the logjam of left-handed corner players, how strong of a hold does he have on the first-base job for next season?
-- Mike W., St. Louis

Joey Gallo can play first base, and he can play left field. That gives the Rangers some options. If Willie Calhoun comes into Spring Training and proves he belongs in the big leagues, the Rangers could use him in left and move Gallo to first base. So Guzman still needs to prove himself and defend his job as the Rangers' incumbent first baseman. He does not have a secure spot on the team.

Do you expect the Rangers to go "all-in" on players next offseason for the first year of the new ballpark? Or will they give it a few years?
-- Brady S., Seminole, Texas

That will depend how far the Rangers' rebuild progresses this season. If the young offense starts proving that it is a contending lineup, the Rangers might start flirting with the top-of-the-market free agents. The list of potential free-agent starters after this season includes Chris Sale, Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Justin Verlander, Zack Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg.

Why aren't we trying to sign utility player Marwin Gonzalez, third baseman Mike Moustakas or pitcher Wade Miley? 
-- Tony W., Sulphur Springs, Texas

Miley is an interesting study. Basically, nobody wanted him last winter after two poor years in Baltimore. The Brewers signed him to a Minor League contract, and it took three months before it paid off. But Miley had a terrific second half and ended up being a difference-maker in the Brewers' run to a division title. It would be nice to have the Astros' or Indians' rotation, but sometimes clubs have to make shrewd, under-the-radar acquisitions to put together a championship pitching staff. There are plenty of candidates out there on the free-agent market.

Do you think the Rangers will stay the course with the new pitchers they've brought in so far in this rebuild, or will they get scared and "David Clyde" them to the Major Leagues?
-- Joe S., Garland, Texas

By "David Clyde" you mean, will they rush their young pitchers to the big leagues before they are ready? All clubs have the standard mantra that they will not rush young players to the big leagues. That comes right out of the standard player development playbook. Having the discipline and willpower to stick to that philosophy often proves much easier said than to follow through with.

Do you see the Rangers giving Andy Ibanez a legit shot as an everyday third baseman? He is 25 and provided a stable bat at both Double-A and Triple-A.
-- Roberto M., Fort Worth

Ibanez, a former star in the Cuban National Series, is more of a second baseman, although he was used much more at third base this past season at Triple-A Round Rock. Patrick Wisdom, who was acquired from the Cardinals last month, is the more natural and proven third baseman, and Wisdom has more offensive upside. He would likely get the first shot among the players currently in the Rangers' organization.

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.

Texas Rangers

Billy Joel to play Globe Life Park's final concert

MLB.com