Rangers agree to terms on one-year Major League contracts with free agents OF Travis Jankowski and RHP David Robertson

RHP Daniel Duarte designated for assignment

January 27th, 2024

Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers tonight announced that the club has agreed to terms on one-year Major League contracts with free agents OF Travis Jankowski and RHP David Robertson. The agreement with Robertson includes a mutual option for the 2025 campaign. To accommodate the addition of both players to the 40-man roster, right-handed pitcher Daniel Duarte has been designated for assignment.

Jankowski, 32, batted .263/.357/.332/.689 (65-247) with one home run and a career-high 30 RBI across 107 games (63 starts) for Texas in 2023, making starts defensively in left (49), center (10), and right field (4).

The outfielder led the team with 19 stolen bases and was not caught stealing over his final 17 attempts to close the campaign. His .950 stolen base success rate (19-20) marked the highest single season figure in Rangers history among players with at least 20 attempts, surpassing the previous mark of .938 set by Alfonso Soriano in 2005. His career 79.13% stolen base percentage (91-115) ranks 20th among active Major Leaguers with at least 100 attempts.

Jankowski was on Texas’ roster for the entirety of the 2023 Postseason, going 3-for-9 (.333) with one double and 2 RBI. He posted a multi-hit effort (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI) in Game 4 of the World Series at Arizona – his first of two Postseason starts during the Rangers’ title run.

2024 signifies a return to the Rangers for the outfielder, who was previously signed by Texas as a minor league free agent on January 27, 2023, and made the Major League club out of Spring Training. A nine-year Major League veteran, Jankowski has appeared exclusively as an outfielder in the big leagues, making starts in center (175), left (96), and right field (53). His .995 career fielding percentage (4 E/764 TC) ranks T6th in the Majors since 2015 (min. 750 TC) and he is one of just four outfielders since 2019 (min. 250 TC) to not commit an error.

Jankowski sports a lifetime .241/.327/.314/.641 (317-1317) slash line with 10 home runs, 84 RBI, and 91 stolen bases over stints with San Diego (2015-19), Cincinnati (2020), Philadelphia (2021), New York-NL (2022), Seattle (2022), and Texas (2023). The Lancaster, PA native was originally selected by San Diego in the supplemental first round (44th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Robertson, who turns 39 on April 9, split last season with the New York Mets and Miami Marlins, compiling a 6-6 record, 18 saves, a 3.03 ERA (22 ER/65.1 IP), and 78 strikeouts over 62 relief appearances. He opened the campaign with the Mets and posted a 2.05 ERA (10 ER/44.0 IP) over 40 outings before a mid-season trade on July 28 sent him to Miami in exchange for C Ronald Hernandez and INF Marco Vargas. Despite registering a 5.06 ERA (12 ER/21.1 IP) in his 22 appearances for the Marlins, he still finished the 2023 campaign ranked among National League relief leaders (min. 60.0 IP) in wins (T11th), ERA (12th), and strikeouts per 9.0 innings (12th, 10.74).

An American League All-Star selection with the New York Yankees in 2011, Robertson’s 1054 career relief strikeouts are the 14th-most in MLB history and rank 4th among active pitchers behind only Craig Kimbrel (1192), Kenley Jansen (1159), and Aroldis Chapman (1148). He also ranks among active hurlers in relief wins (1st, 63), relief appearances (2nd, 792), relief innings (2nd, 803.2 IP), and saves (7th). Among pitchers with at least 800.0 innings, his lifetime 11.80 strikeouts per 9.0 innings figure is the 3rd-highest of all-time to only Jansen (12.82) and Billy Wagner (11.92).

Robertson boasts a career 6-0 record, one save, 3.04 ERA (16 ER/47.1 IP), and 57 strikeouts over 42 relief outings in the postseason, joining Jansen (59), Ryan Pressly (46), Chapman (44), and Joe Kelly (41) as one of the five active MLB pitchers with as many as 40 career playoff appearances. A 2009 World Series champion with the Yankees, he has seen postseason action in 9 of his 15 Major League campaigns.

Over the last three seasons (2021-23) since returning from ‘Tommy John’ ligament replacement surgery performed in August of 2019, the right-hander is 10-9 with 38 saves, a 2.87 ERA (45 ER/141.0 IP), and 175 strikeouts in 132 appearances/one start. He has logged at least 60.0 relief innings in 11 different seasons (2010-18, 2022-23), tied for the 2nd-most by any pitcher in the Wild Card Era (beg. 1995) behind only National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Mariano Rivera (16).

The Birmingham, Ala. native was originally selected by New York-AL in the 17th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of the University of Alabama and owns a lifetime 63-42 record, 175 saves, 2.90 ERA (259 ER/804.2 IP), and 1055 strikeouts across 793 appearances/one start with seven franchises: New York-AL (2008-14, 2017-18), Chicago-AL (2015-17), Philadelphia (2019, 2022), Tampa Bay (2021), Chicago-NL (2022), New York-NL (2023), Miami (2023).

The Rangers have seven days to release or outright Duarte to the minor leagues. The 27-year-old right-hander went 3-0 with a 3.69 ERA (13 ER/31.2 IP) over 31 relief appearances spanning five stints with Cincinnati last year: June 13-July 18, July 24-31, August 3-5, August 13, and August 27-September 28.  He spent the balance of the campaign with Triple-A Louisville, going 4-0 with a 3.34 ERA (13 ER/35.0 IP) while averaging 10.0 strikeouts per 9 innings.

With tonight’s transactions, the Rangers’ Spring Training roster now has 64 players: a full 40-man roster along with 24 non-roster invitees.