Rangers cut ties with Durazo, Wasdin

Rangers cut ties with Durazo, Wasdin

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have released first baseman/designated hitter Erubiel Durazo and placed pitcher John Wasdin on waivers, a move that could open a spot on the Opening Day roster for Rule 5 draft pick Fabio Castro.

Wasdin was a candidate to be the Rangers' long reliever but had a 10.64 ERA in 11 innings, allowing 23 hits and three walks. With Wasdin out of the picture, the Rangers are strongly leaning toward keeping Castro, a 21-year-old left-hander who has never pitched past Class A, but has impressed with his talent and potential.

Castro would have to stay on the Major League roster all season or be offered back to the Chicago White Sox.

Club officials would not comment on Wasdin being placed on outright waivers. But what that means is that other clubs could claim him and put him on the Major League roster.

If he clear waivers, the Rangers would likely release him and then try to re-sign him to a Minor League contract. Wasdin was 3-2 with a 4.28 ERA for the Rangers last year.

Durazo was a last-minute addition to the Rangers' Spring Training roster as a possible alternative at designated hitter to Phil Nevin. But the Rangers have become satisfied that Nevin can fill the DH role, despite hitting just .229 this spring. Nevin has four home runs and 10 RBIs.

"Between Nevin and David Dellucci, we're covered at DH," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Bringing in Erubiel was a no-risk, high-reward option. Fortunately, our guys stayed healthy, and we want to let Erubiel find another opportunity."

Durazo, who played for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, was 5-for-23 this spring for the Rangers. He is coming off Tommy John elbow surgery, and is not yet ready to play first base. He also had an agreement with the Rangers that he could become a free agent if not placed on the roster by Wednesday.

Nevin, who will make $10 million this season, will be the regular designated hitter, but Dellucci will also see time there. Nevin hit .182 with two home runs and eight RBIs for the Rangers over the final two months of last season, and the Rangers wanted Durazo as an alternative if that decline should continue.

"Phil has come in to camp in great shape, and seems committed to staying there," Daniels said. "We've got a commitment there, and we're going to give him every opportunity to make the best of it."

Dellucci is coming off his best season, batting .251 with 29 home runs, 97 runs and 65 RBIs. Right now, he is the Rangers' regular left fielder, although Laynce Nix is starting to assert himself in the final week of camp. Nix hit two home runs in Monday's game.

The Rangers still have other outfield health issues. Brad Wilkerson has a sore shoulder and Gary Matthews is going to start the season on the disabled list with a strained ribcage muscle.

"Between outfielder and designated hitter, Buck [Showalter] will have different ways to get David in the game," Daniels said. "What he did last year and what he means to the club, we'll find a way to get him in there."

Clubs have called the Rangers looking for outfield help. Kevin Mench is still highly coveted, but teams have also asked about Dellucci. Daniels met with Dellucci on Monday to make it clear the Rangers aren't trying to trade him.

"We've had calls on a variety of guys, but there's no intent on our part to move him," Daniels said. "For me, it's important as I get accustomed to this role to have an open and honest relationship with these guys. I didn't want David to focus on anything except what's in between the lines."

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