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Friday newsletter time: Key players on waivers never make it to Rangers

(AP photo/Adam Hunger)


The chance to upgrade the bullpen and the outfield never materialized Thursday for the Rangers, who saw the two Ohio teams gobble up five players via waivers who might have been of interest.

The Guardians decided to give the American League Central another go, claiming left-hander Matt Moore and right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the Angels. The Reds claimed outfielders Hunter Renfroe (Angels) and Harrison Bader (Yankees).

The Rangers allowed righty reliever Dominic Leone (Angels) to get past them. He was claimed by the Mariners. The Rangers had Leone in spring training and assigned him to Triple A Round Rock before releasing him to pursue a big-league opportunity.

All six players are eligible for the postseason with their new teams.

Outfielder Randal Grichuk (Angels) and righty Mike Clevenger (White Sox) cleared waivers and are now free agents. The Brewers signed third baseman Josh Donaldson to a minor-league deal after he was released a few days ago by the Yankees.

Lopez would have been an immediate upgrade to the Rangers’ bullpen, which continues languish in the late innings. The Rangers will have to mix and match, hope and pray, for a reliable combination to protect leads.

They will have a 14th pitcher to play with as active rosters expanded to 28 for September. Among the possibilities are 40-man righties Zak Kent, Alex Speas, Yerry Rodriguez, Owen White and Cole Winn and lefty Cody Bradford. Righties Grant Anderson and Jonathan Hernandez become options once they have been on optional assignment for 10 days.

They are all at Round Rock.

The best reliever overall might be Antoine Kelly at Double A Frisco, who is not on the 40-man roster but was in big-league spring training. So were Round Rock righties Marc Church and Chase Lee. And Danny Duffy, who is coming back from injury and has a big-league track record.

Would any of them suddenly find themselves pitching in the eighth and ninth innings with a narrow lead? Unlikely, though Duffy would be the most likely. Could they serve as depth and help keep the primary guys fresh. Sure.

For the most part, though, the Rangers will have to go with what they have.

As for the position player, Brad Miller could be the guy. He’s been on the injured list and is ready to come off. He doesn’t solve the need for a right-handed bat. If the Rangers go that way, Sam Huff could be the choice.

Rangers Today stuff

Rangers play-by-play man Dave Raymond is scheduled to be the guest this week on the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast for his second appearance. A lot has changed since his debut, like the manager, the success of the team and the pace of play.

Should be a good one.

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College football pick ’em

My three best friends from high school and I embarrass ourselves each football season with a friendly competition each week, picking one college game against the point spread. For the first time, I am the defending champion.

But, again, we’re not very good, and I’m already 0-1 this season after UTEP lost at Jacksonville State last weekend as one-point favorites.

Pretty typical.

I’m bouncing back this week, though, by taking Texas Tech and giving the 14 points over Wyoming.

Games I also considered: Clemson (-12.5) over Duke and Fresno State (-4.5) at Purdue.

As I general rule I won’t bet on teams I’m close to, so I’m staying away from TCU-Colorado even though I think the Frogs are going to cover the 20.5 and spoil Deion Sanders’ Buffs debut.

Card of the Week

Wyatt Langford appeared recently on the podcast. The first-rounder (fourth overall) was good, too.

He’s been even better at High A Hickory, where he’s batting .324 with four homers, 12 RBIs, 17 walks and only 15 strikeouts. He was also removed from the game Tuesday and didn’t play Wednesday, which got some people thinking he is getting a promotion.

Langford looks deserving of a promotion to Double A Frisco. Is he on his way?

No. The Rangers are monitoring his workload, but a bump before the end of the season is possibility.

In the meantime, Langford will have to settle for being the Card of the Week. It’s his 2023 Panini Stars & Stripes No. 85.

The Rangers should promote Langford, though with Hickory potentially headed to the South Atlantic League playoffs, he could get some at-bats in a playoff atmosphere. Of course, he was a stud at the College World Series, so it’s not like the Rangers are wondering if he can handle the pressure.

He can. He could probably handle Double A, too.

Doggy video!

Rangers fans tonight. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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1 Comment

  1. Monty W September 1, 2023

    Ragans tearing it up in KC is kind of a kick in the nads. I wish him well & hope he has continued success.


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