Thursday Newsletter time: Among players signed by Texas Rangers is one who could win a job, one who has quite a story
Veteran right-handed pitcher Nick Tropeano is headed to big-league spring training.
The Newsletter needed the news the Texas Rangers made Wednesday, even though it wasn’t the biggest news in baseball history.
But it was news, which during the lockout has been in stuck on a freighter near the Port of Los Angeles.
Lockout this. Lockout that. Hall of Fame this. Hall of Fame that.
So let’s cherish this while we can.
The biggest item is that the Rangers signed right-handed pitcher Nick Tropeano to a minor-league deal and invited him to big-league spring training, which is TBA pending a new collective bargaining agreement.
Anyone who remembers those late-night games in Anaheim knows Tropeano. He pitched for the Angels from 2015-2016 and 2018-19, though his career started with Houston in 2014. He has pitched for Pittsburgh, San Francisco and the New York Mets the past two seasons.
He has been mostly a starter during his time in the big leagues, which totals only 54 games/39 starts. He’s been relatively effective, going 14-14 with a 4.22 ERA.
The 31-year-old should get a long look for a bullpen that will be young and won’t have righties Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez until May as they recover from Tommy John surgery.
Brett Martin, who has just over two years of MLB service time, rates as the bullpen veteran at age 26.
Tropeano is likely the first of several pitchers who will agree in the next few weeks to go spring training on minor-league deals.
Josh Sale ring a bell?
Five other players agreed to minor-league contracts, four of whom played in the organization in 2021, but they didn’t land invitations to big-league camp.
The one newcomer might be familiar, but for the wrong reasons.
First, the returnees: infielder Trey Hair, a 26-year-old who was playing independent ball last year before joining High A Hickory; right-hander Jesus Linarez, who pitched all at both A levels; left-hander Sal Mendez, a former 40th-round pick who split 2021 between Double A Frisco and Triple A Round Rock; and 29-year-old catcher Jordan Procyshen, who started 30 games for Frisco.
Procyshen was not the oldest player in the group. That distinction belongs to 30-year-old third baseman Josh Sale, who had a phenomenal 2021 for Gastonia in the independent Atlantic League (.284/.394/.593, 34 homers, 104 RBIs).
Sale, which is pronounced sah-lay, was the Tampa Bay Rays’ first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2010 MLB Draft. He dealt with two suspensions after failing tests for “drugs of abuse” and was released in 2015.
He hadn’t played baseball since 2014 at High A until this season. He started his recovery from addiction in 2018.
The Rangers brought him to the fall instructional league last year to speak with players in the system, and he even saw time on the field. Now, he’ll be getting a chance in spring training.
Is it just me or has this week gone by quickly so far? Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. Catch up here on the latest from the Newsletter in case you missed it.
T.R.’s Memoirs: The Replacements
The Sunday Read: Chris Woodward has a message
I like them both. Enjoy. See you Friday.