Rangers plan to activate Feldman on Thursday

Rangers plan to activate Feldman on Thursday

SEATTLE -- The Rangers are still planning on activating pitcher Scott Feldman off the disabled list on Thursday, according to club officials.

Feldman, according to reports, has been placed on outright waivers, but will be with the Rangers and in their bullpen when they open a four-game series with the Mariners on Thursday at Safeco Field. The Rangers also made it clear they expect Feldman to be with the organization through the Mariners series and beyond.

If Feldman is claimed by another organization, that team would pick up the rest of his contract, which includes the remainder of his $4.4 million salary this season, $6.5 million for next season and a $600,000 option on a $9.25 million salary for 2013.

If he clears waivers, that doesn't necessarily mean that he will be outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock. He could remain with the Rangers in their bullpen. If he is outrighted, Feldman could become a free agent and, because he has at least five years of Major League service time, the Rangers would still be obligated for the remainder of his contract.

It is unlikely that the Rangers would outright Feldman without his prior consent to go to Round Rock, and he would continue in the role of a starting pitcher rather than working out of the bullpen at the big league level.

Feldman signed his current contract after going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers in 2009. He was 7-11 with a 5.48 ERA in 22 starts and seven relief appearances last season, before being shut down in September because of a sore right knee.

Feldman underwent knee surgery on Nov. 3, and has yet to pitch for the Rangers this season. He is 3-1 with a 4.17 ERA in 10 games in the Minor Leagues on two rehab assignments. Feldman's 30-day medical rehabilitation assignment has expired, and he either has to be activated or placed back on the disabled list.

The Rangers will likely option pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama back to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Feldman.

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