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Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers spring training, 2024 edition, has arrived

The temperature this morning when Rangers pitchers and catchers take the field for the first time this spring is expected to be around 50 degrees. That’s not unusual for this time of year in Arizona, and it’s downright balmy compared to a year ago.

The Rangers are up to 69 players on their camp roster, with a fair number of minor-leaguers working out separate in case they are needed at some point. The 40-man roster is full, but three spots can be created by placing right-handers Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Tyler Mahle on the 60-day injured list.

Maybe that is what’s keeping the Rangers from adding any additional help on a major-league contract.

There’s that TV uncertainty and luxury-tax thingy, too.

No one working out today will be worrying about who isn’t there. The Rangers are a contender with what they have and, in theory, what they will have for the stretch run. The farm system is robust, robust enough to swing a trade or two for help.

A handful of position players are at the Surprise Recreation Campus, too, and that number will gradually swell day by day until the first full-squad workout Monday. The same goes for the fans (an autograph dealers) roaming around the back fields.

Wyatt Langford probably doesn’t know what’s about to hit him when he gets here.

To be honest, no one knows as the Rangers enter spring training as reigning world champions for the first time.

We’re all going to find out, starting today.

Sampson returns

Right-hander Adrian Sampson was added to the camp roster Tuesday on a minor-league deal for his second stint with the organization.

He last pitched for the Rangers in 2018 and 2019 before leaving to pitch in Korea in 2020. He last pitched in the majors in 2022 for the Cubs and missed all of last season, save for a few rehab outings, while recovering from a knee injury.

Sampson is 11-19 with a 4.43 ERA, but his 2019 ERA with the Rangers was 5.89. He was also in the middle of a feud with the A’s, who have in those days were hypersensitive and not as good as they thought they were.

Sampson had angered Ramon Laureano by stepping on his bat June 8, and Mark Canha proceeded to stare down Sampson after hitting a solo homer later in the game.

Laureano homered off Sampson July 28 in Oakland, stared at it, pointed to the barrel of his bat and jawed while on his way to first base. Rafael Montero hit Laureano in the eighth inning and was ejected along with manager Chris Woodward.

Five seasons is a lifetime ago, and Laureano and Canha are long gone from Oakland. Sampson, though, could fill the Rangers’ need for a multi-inning reliever in his second stint with them.

 

Stay tuned with Rangers Today

Rangers Today arrived last night in Arizona. No, I didn’t see Jordan Montgomery or any other bona fide starting pitchers at baggage claim.

Here’s the plan for our first trip to spring training: Write a lot, knock out a couple episodes of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast and post a lot of videos to Twitter and the YouTube channel.

So, subscribe to the channel, follow me on Twitter and get an annual subscription to Rangers Today.

We’re running a spring training special for new customers.

In the words of Ron Burgundy, “Now let’s do this!”

Doggy video!

Smile, everybody. Spring training starts today.

 

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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