AL West movement defined by minor moves

Top-heavy division undergoing subtle changes

AL West movement defined by minor moves

There's been a whole lot of noise out West this winter on the Hot Stove scene, but much of the major action has emanated from the National League, where the Padres and Dodgers have dominated the headlines.

Outside of an interesting roster overhaul by Billy Beane of the A's, American League West general managers have been quieter to date, perhaps not surprising given the division's strong showing in 2014 when the Angels posted the best regular-season record of any club in the Major Leagues at 98-64 and three teams finished with 87 or more wins, a claim no other division could make.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrus wins Sundberg Community Achievement Award

Andrus wins Sundberg Community Achievement Award

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers recognized shortstop Elvis Andrus' positive role off the field on Thursday, naming him as the recipient of the 2014 Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award.

Andrus will be honored at the 2015 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner on Friday, Jan. 23, at the Dallas Omni Hotel. It's the 26th consecutive year the award has been presented to a member of the Rangers organization for significant contributions in the community.

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banister spends wedding anniversary with Rangers fans

New manager, along with shortstop Andrus, participates in Q&A session

Banister spends wedding anniversary with Rangers fans

ARLINGTON -- New Rangers manager Jeff Banister spent an evening with fans on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park -- on his and wife Karen's wedding anniversary.

How did that happen?

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Daniels likes young talent Rangers have in system

Daniels likes young talent Rangers have in system

DALLAS -- In terms of big-name acquisitions and blockbuster trades, the Rangers have been relatively quiet this offseason, but general manager Jon Daniels says that's all part of the plan, given the young depth he will have when Spring Training begins in February.

It's not for lack of trying that the Rangers haven't made any major trades, Daniels said -- just a lack of willingness to deal prized prospects.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Visit to children's hospital extra special for Banister

Visit to children's hospital extra special for Banister

DALLAS -- For nearly three decades, the Rangers have made a holiday tradition out of visiting children's hospitals to spread some cheer to ailing kids. For new manager Jeff Banister -- who overcame bone cancer and a broken neck as a teenager, undergoing 10 surgeries before he left high school -- the visits take on special significance.

"It takes me back to a time and a place when I was laying in that hospital bed and seeing those gowns and masks and gloves," said Banister, who joined a large contingent of Rangers players, coaches and broadcasters at Children's Medical Center in Dallas on Wednesday as they met with hospitalized children and their parents.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Daniels: Rua in position to make Rangers in 2015

Daniels: Rua in position to make Rangers in 2015

DALLAS -- In 28 games and 109 plate appearances, mostly in September last season, Ryan Rua made a solid-enough impression on Rangers management to enter Spring Training as a leading candidate for the starting job in left field.

Rua, 24, hit .295 with seven doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs in his first taste of Major League action.

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Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' Harrison named club's 'Good Guy Award' winner

Rangers' Harrison named club's 'Good Guy Award' winner

Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison was named winner of the 2014 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award, the club announced Wednesday.

The award is voted on by the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, which will honor Harrison at the Dr. Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner on Friday, Jan. 23, at the Dallas Omni Hotel.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy Fujikawa eager to earn key role in Rangers' bullpen

Coming off injury-shortened seasons, righty signs one-year deal with club option for '16

Healthy Fujikawa eager to earn key role in Rangers' bullpen

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added another option for the back end of their bullpen Tuesday, signing free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a one-year Major League contact for 2015 with a club option for 2016.

Neftali Feliz is the Rangers' closer, so Fujikawa will go into Spring Training as a potential one-inning setup man. He will receive a base salary of $1 million with the opportunity to earn incentives. The deal will be official once the Rangers clear a spot on their 40-man roster.

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hospital visit, toy drive highlight Rangers' day of giving

Hospital visit, toy drive highlight Rangers' day of giving

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The Rangers were out in force again Tuesday, giving back to the community by making a visit to Cook Children's Medical Center and hosting a toy drive at Globe Life Park.

From left-hander Derek Holland donating a Starlight Fun Center to Cook Children's to new manager Jeff Banister and several current and former Rangers signing autographs for fans who participated in Tuesday's toy drive, it was a giving kind of day during this holiday season in Texas.

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DeShields thrilled for chance to make impact

Rangers' Rule 5 draftee from Astros eyes spot as fourth outfielder or in super-utility role

DeShields thrilled for chance to make impact

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Delino DeShields Jr. already has himself in a North Texas state of mind.

He's moved on from the Astros' organization, where he spent the first five seasons of his professional career, to the in-state rival Rangers, who selected him in the Rule 5 Draft last week.

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jurickson Profar may be his own personal tooth fairy

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Jurickson Profar may be his own personal tooth fairy

Included in the wildly interesting New York Times piece on Curacao's lineage of MLB players (fun fact: Curacao boats roughly 1 MLB player per 21,000 residents) is an anecdote that suggests that Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar might be his own personal tooth fairy.

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Rangers land lefty Detwiler in trade with Nationals

Veteran expected to get chance to start; two Minor Leaguers heading to Washington

Rangers land lefty Detwiler in trade with Nationals

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have added a fourth starter to their rotation, acquiring left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler from the Nationals for infielder Chris Bostick and right-hander Abel De Los Santos.

Washington used Detwiler as a reliever this past season, but Texas will use him as a starter.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers grab speedy outfielder DeShields in Rule 5 Draft

Son of ex-big leaguer could earn backup role; Texas acquires lefty Detwiler in trade

Rangers grab speedy outfielder DeShields in Rule 5 Draft

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers came to the Winter Meetings looking for starting pitching and left with an outfielder taken in the Rule 5 Draft. It could be a significant selection.

The Rangers took outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. from the Astros with the third pick. DeShields, whose father was a Major League infielder for 13 seasons, was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He has yet to develop offensively, but has tremendous speed. He has 236 stolen bases over the past four full seasons, with a high of 101 in 2012.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chirinos, Perez brighten kids' day with Dallas hospital visit

Chirinos, Perez brighten kids' day with Dallas hospital visit

DALLAS -- Robinson Chirinos and Martin Perez produced the usual smiles one sees when Rangers players visit children in the hospital around Christmas time, with Thursday's stop at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas.

They handed out souvenirs and autographs and posed for photos with patients and nurses.

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers meet with Shields but deal 'very unlikely'

Daniels reaffirms club not in position to pursue top free agents

Rangers meet with Shields but deal 'very unlikely'

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers have been insistent they are not pursuing the top free agents available this winter.

But that didn't keep them from having a face-to-face meeting with pitcher James Shields and his agent Page Odle on Sunday after arriving in San Diego. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the meeting was held because Shields lives in San Diego and it gave them a chance to really get to know him.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers place QB Wilson on Triple-A roster

Texas selected NFL star from Rockies in 2013 Rule 5 Draft

Rangers place QB Wilson on Triple-A roster

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers do not want Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to be taken in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. That's why they have placed him on their Triple-A roster.

That means that if a club selects Wilson in the Rule 5 Draft, they would have to put him on their 40-man roster. That's highly unlikely since Wilson is committed to playing football.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers willing to part with prospects in 'right deal'

Rangers willing to part with prospects in 'right deal'

SAN DIEGO -- Jon Daniels said the Rangers' farm system is "deeper" than it has ever been since he became general manager.

"It's deep and also strong at the upper levels," Daniels said. "Those guys are close."

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prince's health on top of Rangers skipper Banister's mind

Prince's health on top of Rangers skipper Banister's mind

SAN DIEGO -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister has spent the past two months meeting and talking to as many players as he can. He has yet to meet with first baseman Prince Fielder.

It is high on his priority list.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Choo uses Legos to bond with Korean-American youth

Rangers outfielder thrilled to give back to community during holiday season

Choo uses Legos to bond with Korean-American youth

GRAPEVINE, Texas -- A group of Korean youngsters found themselves in Lego heaven Tuesday afternoon at the Legoland Discovery Center at Grapevine Mills Mall.

Oh, Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was there, too.

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Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' talks with Mets highlight first day of Meetings

Rangers' talks with Mets highlight first day of Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who missed the final seven weeks of the regular season with inflammation in his right elbow, began his offseason throwing program on Monday with 25 throws from 50 feet.

That was in Arlington. Out on the West Coast, Rangers officials were still busy trying to find someone to join Darvish in next season's rotation. Starting pitching remains the Rangers' top priority at the Winter Meetings, and that makes up the majority of the conversations they are having with other teams.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Survivor Banister stands up in fight vs. cancer

Rangers manager shares his story; club participates in charity auction

Survivor Banister stands up in fight vs. cancer

SAN DIEGO -- Stand Up To Cancer is a significant cause for Major League Baseball. It is the same for Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who is a cancer survivor.

Banister has never been shy about sharing his story. Since being hired by the Rangers, he has a far more visible platform to tell that story, and he plans on using it.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers claim lefty Barnes off waivers from O's

Rangers claim lefty Barnes off waivers from O's

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers have claimed left-handed pitcher Scott Barnes off waivers from the Orioles, the club announced on Monday.

Barnes was with the Indians organization this past season and went 3-2 with a 3.69 ERA in 25 games (one start) at Triple-A Columbus. Opponents hit .193 off him, including .191 by left-handed batters.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers retain Lewis on one-year contract

Left-hander Kirkman also signs Minors deal for 2015

Rangers retain Lewis on one-year contract

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reached an agreement Thursday with free-agent pitcher Colby Lewis on a one-year contract worth $4 million. Although nothing is guaranteed, Lewis becomes a leading candidate to be one of the Rangers' five starters going into Opening Day.

"We're glad to have Colby back," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "Really, over the last five years, he has been everything we are about. He throws strikes, eats innings and takes the ball. He's the type of pitcher our young guys can look up to."

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prep shortstop Rodgers leads 2015 Draft class

Duke's Matuella, 2014 top pick Aiken follow Florida high school infielder on Top 50 list

Prep shortstop Rodgers leads 2015 Draft class

For the second time in their history, the Arizona Diamondbacks own the top pick in the First-Year Player Draft. The first time that happened, in 2005, they took a high school shortstop with a potent bat.

Ten years after grabbing Justin Upton, the D-backs could follow a similar path. Lake Mary (Fla.) High School shortstop Brendan Rodgers sits atop MLBPipeline.com's initial Draft Top 50 rankings, thanks to his three plus tools (bat, power, arm) complemented by two solid ones (speed, defense). Unlike Upton, who immediately moved to the outfield as a professional, Rodgers should remain at shortstop.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' offseason focus remains starting pitching

Rangers' offseason focus remains starting pitching

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made a serious effort to sign free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter this week, but general manager Jon Daniels said the club's top priority this winter is still starting pitching.

"Our interest in Torii was unique to him," Daniels said. "He was a player who fit on our club with right-handed power, but a lot of it had to do with his makeup and what he could do in the clubhouse. Our focus still has been more on pitching as a priority. We'd like to add a catcher, too. There are scenarios where we might add a bat, but it was a unique situation with Torii."

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers Fan Fest set for 9 a.m. CT on Jan. 24

ARLINGTON -- The 2015 Texas Rangers Fan Fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT on Jan. 24 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The event will feature autograph sessions with current Rangers players and coaches, with individuals signing in the Capital One Club, Captain Morgan Club, Hyundai Club, Jack Daniels Club, and Texas Rangers Hall of Fame.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers non-tender three, including Ogando

Moreland, Feliz tendered contracts from Texas before deadline

Rangers non-tender three, including Ogando

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers announced on Tuesday that they have decided not to offer a contract to pitcher Alexi Ogando, making him a free agent. Ogando, one of the few remaining members of the 2010-11 World Series teams, had been eligible for arbitration.

The Rangers tried to get Ogando to agree to a new contract before Tuesday's non-tender deadline. But Ogando told the Rangers if they did not tender him a contract that would make him arbitration-eligible, he would rather test the free-agent market. The Rangers were not willing to do that because of the uncertainty of Ogando's health.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scheppers no stranger to bringing Christmas cheer

Scheppers no stranger to bringing Christmas cheer

ARLINGTON -- A big truck pulled up to a warehouse in North Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday morning, just across the street from historically restored LaGrave Field. Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers and his wife, Jessica, were among those present on a morning chilled by an Arctic blast to unload toys for Cowboy Santas.

Scheppers is the honorary spokesman for the Rangers' participation in the 2014 Cowboy Santas Toy Drive. He is also carrying on a family tradition that started back home in Southern California.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Faith, perseverance paying off for Chirinos

Backstop emerged from long Minor League career, concussion to impact Rangers in 2014

Faith, perseverance paying off for Chirinos

ARLINGTON -- March 11, 2012, was a momentous day in the life of Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos. In the morning, he felt he made a strong and lasting commitment in his relationship with God.

That afternoon, Chirinos was struck directly in the face mask by a foul ball.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.