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Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers continue stockpiling pitching depth

(AP photo/Aaron Doster)



None of the remaining big-name relievers found new teams Tuesday, but right-hander Daniel Duarte did with the Rangers.

He was acquired for cash considerations from the Reds, who designated him for assignment Saturday. Duarte, who posted a 3.69 ERA in 31 big-league innings last season, goes on the 40-man roster, which is now full.

Don’t worry: There’s always a way to find a roster spot, and Duarte would be a candidate to lose his spot if the Rangers need one. However, Duarte does have minor-league options remaining, which is one of the reasons why the Rangers nabbed him.

The expectation is they will nab another reliever on a major-league deal, and left-hander Jordan Montgomery remains out there for the rotation. A game of chicken appears to have broken out between agent Scott Boras and the teams interested in Montgomery (and Blake Snell).

Someone will give in eventually.

Meanwhile, the Rangers added some rotation depth by signing right-hander Jose Urena to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. He has pitched in the majors each of the past nine seasons, beginning in 2015 with the Marlins.

He made three consecutive Opening Day starts for Miami from 2017-2019 and made 10 big-league starts last season with the Rockies and the White Sox.

Urena joins a pool of non-roster invites that includes right-handers Gerardo Carrillo, Diego Castillo, Shane Greene, Jonathan Holder, Austin Pruitt and Jesus Tinoco. However, Urena is the only starter.

Arizona, anyone?

Nothing says spring training is coming quite like cementing plans to be there.

As has been the case in the past, since the kids become more active, I’m going three times. The first trip, Feb. 13-23, is booked. Two more are coming — a Rangers Today Baseball Podcast trip in early March and another solo trip to close out camp.

Spring training remains my favorite time of the baseball year. Surprise has grown on me. The weather was not great last spring, and after the past four days, 70 and sunny sounds delightful.

The weather was even better than that the last time the Rangers were in Arizona, about 45 minutes to the southeast as they captured their first World Series on Nov. 1.

The guess here is the Rangers are looking forward to going back.


Looking live

If you haven’t heard or have been thinking about attending, the first Rangers Today Baseball Podcast live show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday (that’s tomorrow) at Hop & Sting Brewing Co. in Grapevine. Guests include (subject to change) right-hander Josh Sborz, pitching coach Mike Maddux, former starter Derek Holland and radio man Matt Hicks.

It’s free to attend.

Rangers talk and revelry will be widely available. The local barbecue food truck Los Vaqueros will be serving. Copies of At Long Last, the Rangers Today/Triumph Books commemorative look back at the World Series season will be available.

We might have some other things up our sleeves as well.

So, stop by, enjoy a beer, listen to a good show and gear up for spring training.

Doggy video!

Just getting some time in the cold tub after a tough game. 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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