Choo ready for spring, 'not ready for full-time DH'

After injury-plagued '16, veteran could have new role; Andrus also working out, feeling healthy

Choo ready for spring, 'not ready for full-time DH'

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, after a Thursday morning workout at a local high school, was asked if all his body parts were working.

"Yeah ... geez," Choo said wearily. "I feel good. A lot of people, first thing they ask me is about my health. I'm tired of being asked that, but after what happened last year ... my body feels good. I am ready for 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.

No nudge needed: Pudge to Hall in first try

Backstop elected to Class of 2017 with 76 percent of BBWAA votes

No nudge needed: Pudge to Hall in first try

ARLINGTON -- Ivan Rodriguez wanted this badly. He wanted badly to be in the Hall of Fame, and he wanted to go in on the first ballot.

Rodriguez knew it would be close, even though he is one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game.

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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.

Vlad comes up just short in first Hall vote

Former Ranger named on 71.7 percent of ballots; 75 percent needed

Vlad comes up just short in first Hall vote

ARLINGTON -- Ivan Rodriguez is going to the Hall of Fame, but two other notable former Rangers are still on the outside waiting their turn.

Vladimir Guerrero, who was with the Rangers in 2010 when they went to the World Series, came close by earning 317 of 442 ballots cast. But candidates needed to be on 332 ballots to earn 75 percent, and Guerrero fell short at 71.7 percent in his first year on the ballot.

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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.

Pudge's batch of batterymates a who's who

From Ryan to Rivera to Strasburg, Cooperstown's newest catcher guided talented hurlers

Pudge's batch of batterymates a who's who

Ivan Rodriguez got the call to Cooperstown on Wednesday, when the Baseball Writers' Association of America officially made him only the second catcher in history to earn induction to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

"Pudge" received 76 percent of the vote in large part because of his prowess behind the plate, where he caught nearly 2,500 games, led his league in caught-stealing percentage nine times and won 13 Gold Glove Awards. Between the ages of 19 and 39, Rodriguez donned the mask for six organizations, and from the very beginning until the very end, he teamed up with many talented pitchers.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Trevino makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 C Prospects list

Converted infielder Kelly, Mejia grab top spots, Alfaro remains No. 3

Trevino makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 C Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Heading into 2016, MLBPipeline's two top-rated catching prospects were Willson Contreras and Gary Sanchez. You may have heard something about their exploits last year. Contreras took over the starting job on a Cubs team that won its first World Series in 108 years, while Sanchez tied an 86-year-old record for fewest games needed (51) to hit 20 homers.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gallo focused on taking next step in 2017

Gallo focused on taking next step in 2017

DALLAS -- Joey Gallo knows he didn't hit well in his limited opportunities for the Rangers in 2016.

Gallo also knows as long as Adrian Beltre is healthy and on the roster, he not going to be playing third base for the Rangers. He also knows his chances of playing first base for the club could hinge on the recent signing of Josh Hamilton to a Minor League deal and the club potentially adding another first baseman on the free-agent market.

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

Texas signs Gee to compete for rotation spot

Texas signs Gee to compete for rotation spot

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, while waiting on free-agent right-hander Tyson Ross to undergo his physical, added another veteran candidate to their rotation by signing righty Dillon Gee on Tuesday to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Gee was born and raised in Cleburne, Texas, and he played collegiate baseball at UT-Arlington. He spent last season with the Royals, going 8-9 with a 4.68 ERA in 14 starts and 19 relief appearances.

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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

Jonathan Mayo

Mendez named fifth-best LHP prospect in MLB

Hader leaps from No. 6 to top of list, Groome slides into No. 2 spot

Mendez named fifth-best LHP prospect in MLB

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Exactly half of last year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list graduated off of prospect lists during the 2016 season. The top three -- Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Steven Matz -- all had large impacts, with Urias even pitching in the postseason. Four of the other five are still on the list, including new No. 1 Josh Hader.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diekman to miss time after stomach surgery

Diekman to miss time after stomach surgery

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will be without left-handed reliever Jake Diekman for at least the first half of the 2017 season while he recovers from upcoming stomach surgery.

Diekman is scheduled to undergo the procedure on Jan. 25 to help alleviate his chronic ulcerative colitis. Diekman has dealt with that condition for many years and surgery was always a possibility.

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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' deal with Ross awaiting physical

Coming off thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, righty made only one start in '16

Rangers' deal with Ross awaiting physical

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are waiting on Tyson Ross to undergo a physical examination before they officially announce an agreement with him on a one-year, $6 million contract.

According to Major League sources, the Rangers reached the agreement with Ross on Friday. An official announcement could come as early as Tuesday.

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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.

Top prospect Mendez likely to open '17 at Triple-A

Righty attending minicamp, will be honored as Rangers' Minor League Pitcher of Year

Top prospect Mendez likely to open '17 at Triple-A

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are holding a minicamp for many of their young players this week in Arlington. It could be a significant week for some of them.

Left-hander Yohander Mendez said it was significant for him last year, and he'll be honored at the Rangers' awards banquet Friday night in Dallas as the club's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Mendez said getting a week to work with the Major League coaching staff and being around veterans was invaluable for him in preparing for last 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.

Former Rangers GM O'Brien dies at 87

Career included time as GM of Mariners, Angels, Rangers

Dan O'Brien Sr., a baseball lifer who was president and general manager of the Mariners as well as general manager of the Rangers and Angels, passed away in Dallas on Tuesday. He was 87.

O'Brien's big league career was bracketed by 18 years in the Minor Leagues, beginning in 1955, and stints with the Arizona Fall League and USA Baseball.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers avoid arbitration with Dyson, 6 others

Rangers avoid arbitration with Dyson, 6 others

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reached agreements with all seven of their arbitration-eligible players Friday.

The Rangers reached one-year agreements with closer Sam Dyson at $3.52 million, pitcher A.J. Griffin at $2 million, catcher Robinson Chirinos at $1.95 million, reliever Jeremy Jeffress for $2.1 million, infielder Jurickson Profar at $1,005,000, reliever Tanner Scheppers at $975,000 and reliever Jake Diekman at $2.55 million.

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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.

Harrison enjoying retirement ahead of award

Left-hander will be recognized by Rangers before FanFest in Dallas

Harrison enjoying retirement ahead of award

ARLINGTON -- Matt and Meghan Harrison spend one day a week volunteering at a North Carolina animal rescue shelter.

"She is the shift leader, and I'm cleaning up dog poop," Harrison said. "You can tell which one is having all the fun."

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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.

Tyson Ross has the smoothest possible delivery

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Tyson Ross has the smoothest possible delivery

Before missing all but one start in 2016 due to shoulder inflammation, Tyson Ross was an unheralded ace. Despite only one All-Star Game to his name and never being named to make a Cy Young ballot, Ross' 3.07 ERA between 2013-15 was just behind David Price and Max Scherzer -- two pitchers who have combined for three Cy Youngs and $427 million on their current contracts -- and his 9.6 K/9 was between two Cy Young winners in Felix Hernandez and Jake Arrieta.

On Friday, it was reported that Ross signed a one-year, $6 million deal with Texas as he looks to bounce back from the injury. 

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Mintz spends offseason coaching Down Under

Baseball veteran served as Rangers' Class A manager in 2016

Mintz spends offseason coaching Down Under

ARLINGTON -- The Adelaide Bite are in good position to make another strong run at the Claxton Shield, but they still have three big series remaining with Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

That's why manager Steve Mintz sat his players down this week and reminded them what's at stake in the final month of the Australian Baseball League 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.

Rangers sign Cuban infielder La O

Rangers sign Cuban infielder La O

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have signed Cuban infielder Luis Y. La O to a Minor League contract, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

The Rangers have not confirmed or announced the signing. Sanchez reported that La O will receive a $110,000 signing bonus.

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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.

Meet the Rangers' newest farm team: The Wood Ducks

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Meet the Rangers' newest farm team: The Wood Ducks

I'm sorry, but I simply must ask the question: How much wood would a Wood Duck duck if a Wood Duck could duck wood? 

We may get the answer this season as the new Class A Carolina League affiliate of the Rangers, the Down East Wood Ducks of Kinston, N.C., unveiled their logo on Wednesday.

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Beloved Rangers press box attendant Beaton dies

Longtime fixture at Arlington Stadium and the Ballpark in Arlington was 86

Beloved Rangers press box attendant Beaton dies

ARLINGTON -- Bob Beaton, who served as the beloved press box attendant at Arlington Stadium and the Ballpark in Arlington, passed away on Dec. 24. He was 86.

Beaton was a retired accountant and originally from New Jersey when he took over running the press box in 1988. He retired after the 2014 season, and he was honored with the dedication of a plaque in the press dining room on May 15, 2015.

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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.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Gomez's dad tried to mimic his son's bat-breaking powers

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Gomez's dad tried to mimic his son's bat-breaking powers

Ever seen a player break a bat over his knee? It seems pretty hard, unless you possess the kind of unrivaled strength as Bo Jackson.

It was that same Jackson that Carlos Gomez's father was attempting to copy with a video uploaded by the Rangers outfielder on Tuesday, and ... well ... 

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Harrison receiving Rangers' Alumni Award

Harrison receiving Rangers' Alumni Award

ARLINGTON -- Former Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison will be honored as the 2017 winner of the Mark Holtz Alumni Award at the club's awards banquet on Jan. 20 at Gilley's Dallas.

Harrison, acquired in a 2007 trade with the Braves, was with the Rangers from 2008-15, going 50-35 with a 4.21 ERA in 135 games, including 103 starts.

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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.

Look for Rangers to roll dice on low-risk deal

Texas has history of taking chances on former stars

Look for Rangers to roll dice on low-risk deal

ARLINGTON -- Want one bold, off-the-wall prediction for the Rangers before the offseason is over? Want one transaction that nobody sees coming and takes everybody by surprise?

One that is possibility, if not totally realistic.

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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.

Former Rangers pitcher, coach Brown dies at 73

'Oklahoma Curveballer' played for Senators, Rangers, Indians and Expos

Former Rangers pitcher, coach Brown dies at 73

ARLINGTON -- Former Rangers pitcher Jackie Brown, who was known as the "Oklahoma Curveballer" and later became a Major League pitching coach for three organizations, has passed away after a long illness. He was 73.

Brown pitched for the Washington Senators in 1970-71, the Rangers in '73-'75, the Indians in '75-'76 and the Expos in '77. He had a career record of 47-53 with a 4.18 ERA in 214 games, including 105 starts.

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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: Former scout Johnson on discovering Pudge

Q&A: Former scout Johnson on discovering Pudge

Sandy Johnson signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates out of high school in 1958, and he is quick to point out on that the following year, while playing for Class D San Angelo/Roswell, he tied for fifth on the team in home runs with Willie Stargell. They each hit seven home runs.

"He developed more power along the way," Johnson said, laughing.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Write 'em Cowboy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers announce Winter Caravan schedule

Rangers announce Winter Caravan schedule

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will make 12 Winter Caravan stops at various Academy Sports + Outdoors stores over the next three weeks, as well as visiting both their Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock and Double-A team in Frisco.

Manager Jeff Banister will be among the Rangers who will visit Round Rock on Jan. 17. The luncheon will begin at 11 a.m. CT at the United Heritage Conference Center, with bench coach Steve Buechele, closer Sam Dyson and broadcaster Eric Nadel also expected to attend.

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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.

Snider inks Minor League deal with Rangers

Snider inks Minor League deal with Rangers

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers signed veteran outfielder Travis Snider to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, the club announced on Friday.

Snider, a left-handed hitter, is an eight-year Major League veteran with the Blue Jays, Pirates and Orioles, who did not play in the big leagues last season. He spent 2016 at Triple-A Omaha in the Royals' organization, where he hit .245 with three home runs, 29 RBIs and a .350 slugging percentage in 84 games.

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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.