Rangers release veteran Loney

Bass, Lerud also told they will not make the club

Rangers release veteran Loney

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have released veteran first baseman James Loney, the club announced on Monday.

Loney was going not going to make the team and could have taken his free agency on Wednesday. Making the move on Monday gives him two extra days to find another opportunity.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltre out of lineup with tight right calf muscle

Beltre out of lineup with tight right calf muscle

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre's bumpy road to Opening Day has hit another pothole.

Beltre woke up on Monday with a tight right calf muscle and was not in the lineup against the Rockies. It comes just a day after getting one plate appearance against the Dodgers on Sunday.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers likely to be Deadline buyers

Rangers likely to be Deadline buyers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are almost always buyers when it comes to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and that will very likely be the case this upcoming season.

It would seem premature to worry about the Trade Deadline when the Rangers have yet to set their Opening Day roster. But as much as people like to predict winners and losers before the first game is played, it's often the team that improves the most during the season that ends up advancing deep into the postseason.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli homers to back Hamels' strong outing

Napoli homers to back Hamels' strong outing

SURPRISE, Ariz -- Mike Napoli hit his second home run of the spring, this one off Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir, and the Rangers went on to a 3-2 victory at Surprise Stadium on Sunday.

Kazmir was making just his second start of the Cactus League and his first since March 6. He allowed three runs in three innings, giving up three hits and five walks, while hitting two batters.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Claudio credits maturity for rise through ranks

Rangers lefty admits he was rebellious and a 'troublemaker'

Claudio credits maturity for rise through ranks

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Alex Claudio seems quiet and shy among his Rangers teammates, almost unnoticeable among the bigger personalities and voices echoing through the clubhouse.

It's almost hard to believe Claudio was a loud "troublemaker" growing up in Juncos, Puerto Rico.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers being conservative with Hamels

Veteran will be No. 3 starter, will get extra rest early in season

Rangers being conservative with Hamels

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cole Hamels will be the Rangers No. 3 starter going into the season. The Rangers plan on using Yu Darvish and Martin Perez in the first two games before Hamels makes his first start on April 5 against the Indians.

The order does not mean a demotion. It just shows that the Rangers might take extra care of their senior starting pitcher this season.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeShields proving to be an everyday threat

Speedy outfielder continues excellent camp with two stolen bases

DeShields proving to be an everyday threat

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Delino DeShields continues to enjoy a terrific spring, showing why he could be an everyday threat at the top of the Rangers lineup.

Almost from Day 1, he has been the best story in Rangers camp.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scheppers' abdominal injury not sports hernia

Alberto could land on DL; Gallo, Gomez working out, doing baseball activities

Scheppers' abdominal injury not sports hernia

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers has a strain in his lower abdomen, but it is not a sports hernia. He was able to play catch on Sunday, and making the Opening Day roster is still a possibility.

"He pitched multiple innings [on Friday]," assistant general manager Mike Daly said. "We need to see how the abdominal strain is doing, but we are not ruling anything out as far as Tanner making the Opening Day roster."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sources: Odor, Texas agree on extension

Sources: Odor, Texas agree on extension

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are in agreement with second baseman Rougned Odor on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension, according to Major League sources and multiple media outlets.

The Rangers have not yet made an official announcement, but have been working on an extension with Odor for much of Spring Training.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yu to make 1st Opening Day start for Texas

Darvish is Rangers' ninth different starter in past nine seasons

Yu to make 1st Opening Day start for Texas

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister confirmed that Yu Darvish will be the Opening Day starter on April 3 against the Indians at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

It will be the first Opening Day start for Darvish in the Major Leagues, although he did it five times in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He is the ninth different Opening Day starter for the Rangers in the past nine years.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

AL Wet rivalry? Felix splashed by H2Odor

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AL Wet rivalry? Felix splashed by H2Odor

For much of the baseball season, friends have to suit up on opposing teams and try to beat each other on a regular basis. Only one team can win a division, after all, and postseason spots can be elusive. Competition can get intense.

Friendship is also intense, albeit in a different way. Felix Hernandez and Rougned Odor (who just agreed with the Rangers on a big six-year contract extension) recently spent a couple of weeks together on the Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic, but their regular roles are as key participants on two clubs vying for AL West supremacy.

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Martinez K's six, Rua homers vs. Mariners

Martinez K's six, Rua homers vs. Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Dillon Overton, a southpaw acquired from the A's in January, threw six innings of one-run ball in his second Cactus League start as Seattle topped the Rangers, 3-1.

Rangers left fielder Ryan Rua ripped a first-inning home run off an Overton changeup, but the 25-year-old gave up just four hits with no walks and three strikeouts in a 71-pitch outing.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gomez still out; Lucroy extension talks tabled

Outfielder's shoulder among handful of injuries to track before opener

Gomez still out; Lucroy extension talks tabled

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Center fielder Carlos Gomez remains sidelined with a jammed left shoulder, and the Rangers aren't sure when he'll be back in the lineup.

The Rangers are still expecting Gomez to be ready for Opening Day, but Saturday marked the fourth day he was out of the lineup since injuring the shoulder.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martinez, Gamboa going all out for roster spots

Pitchers doing everything they can to earn rotation or bullpen job

Martinez, Gamboa going all out for roster spots

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Nick Martinez and Eddie Gamboa have done their best to give the Rangers some options in the rotation and bullpen.

Now they must wait for the final roster moves, but at least they made it hard on the Rangers.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hauschild, Alvarez bullpen options with Scheppers out

Hauschild, Alvarez bullpen options with Scheppers out

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Mike Hauschild and left-hander Dario Alvarez could be headed for the Opening Day roster in an eight-man bullpen now that Tanner Scheppers is sidelined with a strained abdominal muscle.

Alvarez would give the Rangers a second left-hander out of the bullpen to go along with Alex Claudio. Hauschild, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Astros, would give the Rangers a true middle/long reliever ahead of their power right-handed relievers.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Beltre on motivation, 3,000 hits

Rangers' star seeks elusive World Series ring

Q&A: Beltre on motivation, 3,000 hits

Adrian Beltre was a late arrival in Texas, signing with the Rangers as a free agent at the age of 31. In his six seasons, he has made his presence felt, enjoying the best stretch of his career. Beltre has hit .308 with 167 home runs and 563 RBIs.

Beltre, however, has yet to win a World Series championship, and that, he admits, is something missing from his career. He talked about his situation in this week's Q&A:

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrus' 2 RBIs back Perez's gem vs. Padres

Andrus' 2 RBIs back Perez's gem vs. Padres

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Martin Perez had the upper hand over Jhoulys Chacin in the battle of Venezuelan starters as the Rangers held on to defeat the Padres, 4-3, at Surprise Stadium on Friday. Perez followed up his two starts for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic by holding the Padres scoreless over five innings. He allowed three hits and one walk, striking out six while throwing 80 pitches.

"It was a good game," Perez said. "It's close to the season and I want to do what I have been doing. It's great for me. I'm trying to build myself up for the regular season."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lucroy returns prepared, full of patriotism after WBC '17

Lucroy returns prepared, full of patriotism after WBC '17

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The next World Baseball Classic is due in 2021. Jonathan Lucroy said getting guys to play for Team USA should not be a problem.

"If any player turns it down, they should look in the mirror and check themselves," Lucroy said. "I get the starting pitchers because of the timetable. There is no excuse for anybody else. Everyone else should want to go. It's an experience like no other. You put USA across your jersey, you can't replicate that anywhere else. You are playing for an entire country. There is nothing like it."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dyson rejoins Rangers after WBC '17 tour

Standout closer didn't allow a baserunner in six innings over five games in championship run

Dyson rejoins Rangers after WBC '17 tour

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Sam Dyson has gone viral after the World Baseball Classic. Well, almost.

"According to Instagram, I got 25 to 50 more followers," Dyson said. "I went over 5,000 followers and said, 'Yeah!'"

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Choo's motor not slowing down with age

Choo's motor not slowing down with age

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shin-Soo Choo is equal parts eager to please and impossible to satisfy. He expects so much from himself that when things inevitably go awry somewhere in the midst of a 162-game schedule, he wears those struggles on his sleeve, feeling he's let both himself and his team down. That's how it's been for the entirety of Choo's Major League career, and that was especially how it was in a lost 2016 that saw him make four trips to the disabled list.

Having played alongside Choo previously, Mike Napoli knows this. And so when Napoli re-arrived to the Rangers early in this spring camp and moved into a locker positioned not-so-coincidentally near that of Choo, he began what has been an ongoing process of getting Choo to lighten up, ease the pressure he places on himself and ease the burdens of his daily prep.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dyson, Claudio on track after WBC '17 run

Rangers' bullpen in solid shape after duo's strong showing in tourney

Dyson, Claudio on track after WBC '17 run

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers reliever Sam Dyson threw just 12 pitches in a scoreless inning for the United States against Japan on Tuesday in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic.

That's why Rangers manager Jeff Banister was fine with Dyson pitching in the championship game Wednesday against Puerto Rico. Banister relayed that to Team USA manager Jim Leyland.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gee battles, Rangers scuffle vs. LA's ace

Gee battles, Rangers scuffle vs. LA's ace

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Chase Utley got the Dodgers started with a two-run home run in the first inning, and behind ace Clayton Kershaw, they went on to a 10-2 victory over the Rangers at Surprise Stadium on Thursday.

Kershaw was sharp for six scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out 11. He threw 71 pitches and lowered his spring ERA to 2.14.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Griffin tightens grip on Rangers' rotation job

Righty regains confidence in changeup, curve this spring

Griffin tightens grip on Rangers' rotation job

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A fourth starter has been identified in Rangers camp. A.J. Griffin was given the front-line starting pitcher treatment Thursday when the Rangers let him do his work in a Minor League game. Dillon Gee, who is still in competition for the fifth spot, started against the Dodgers in the Cactus League game.

Griffin started for the Class A Down East Wood Ducks against Modesto and allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and two walks while striking out six. Griffin threw 76 pitches while working in unusually cool temperatures and high gusts of desert wind on the back field.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robinson among top prospect performers

Robinson among top prospect performers

J.D. Davis is heating up at the perfect time. As the season draws near, hits are coming in bunches for the Astros' No. 13 prospect.

The 23-year-old third baseman went 3-for-4, his first three-hit game of Spring Training, in Houston's 8-4 win over the Twins on Wednesday.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers can lean on versatility in left field

Rua, DeShields, Profar give Texas options at multiple positions

Rangers can lean on versatility in left field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers' competition in left field is coming to a close in Spring Training.

It may end without a winner or loser being declared. Ryan Rua, Delino DeShields and Jurickson Profar have all put themselves in position to be on the Opening Day roster.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Loney gets big hit in Rangers' early surge

Loney gets big hit in Rangers' early surge

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Mike Trout hit his first home run of the spring, but it wasn't enough to prevent the split-squad Angels from falling to the Rangers, 7-4, on Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

James Loney's two-run double off Angels starter Alex Meyer capped a three-run outburst for the Rangers in the first, though the Halos scored three times in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 3. The Rangers restored their lead on Jurickson Profar's tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the second and went ahead 5-3 on Drew Robinson's RBI double in the third.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.