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Rangers sign RHP Fabio Castillo and C Chris Robinson to Minor League Contracts

Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers annou\nced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Fabio Castillo and catcher Chris Robinson to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.

Castillo, 22, was not tendered a contract offer by Texas prior to Monday's 11:00 p.m. CST deadline, which made him a free agent, but he has re-signed with the Rangers.  He went 3-6 with 9 saves and a 6.36 ERA (37 ER/52.1 IP) in 42 relief appearances with Frisco (AA) last season and has spent his entire career in the Texas organization since signing as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2005.

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Robinson, 27, batted .316 with 15 doubles, one homer, and 29 RBI in 66 games for Iowa (AAA) in the Cubs organization in 2011, throwing out 19 of 52 (36.5%) attempted base stealers.  Originally selected by Detroit in the third round of the 2005 June Draft out of the University of Illinois, he was acquired by Chicago-NL in an Aug. 20, 2006 trade involving Neifi Perez.  A London, Ontario native, he played for Canada in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2009 World Cup.  He is still seeking his first action in the major leagues.

DARREN OLIVER TO RECEIVE 2011 JIM SUNDBERG COMMUNITY ACHIEVMENT AWARD

Pitcher Darren Oliver has been selected as the recipient of the 2011 Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award, it was announced today.

The award is presented annually to a member of the Rangers organization for outstanding service to the community. In 2011, Oliver partnered with the Bob Jones Nature Center and the Fort Worth ISD Fort Worth After School Program on Ollie’s Greening Up, an endeavor designed to promote environmental conservation. 

The program provides an outdoor citizen-science and art experience for middle school and high school students from underserved communities. The students explore conservation issues involving birds, butterflies and their habitats while also creatively recording their observations and reflections. Oliver has hosted events for the program throughout the year, including several holiday functions.

In addition, Oliver has participated with the Volunteer Center of North Texas in the Martin Luther King Day of Service for the last two years and has donated his time and financial assistance for Family Gateway, a Dallas-based organization whose mission is helping homeless families become self-sufficient. .

Oliver, who became a free agent after the 2011 season, was 5-5 with a 2.29 ERA and two saves in 61 appearances for the Rangers this year.

Oliver will receive his award at the 2012 Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Show on Thursday, January 12 at the Arlington Convention Center. This new event will include a number of award presentations to Rangers players and other baseball personalities as well as being a celebration of the 2011 American League champions. There will also be live entertainment and other special festivities.

The Dr Pepper Awards Show will be a theater-style seating event. Doors to the Arlington Convention Center will open at 6:30 p.m. and fans attending will be able to get a sneak peak of FanFest. Refreshments will also be served and are including in the ticket price. The Awards Show is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $75.00 each for Reserved Seating and $50.00 for General Admission and can be purchased at texasrangers.com or by calling 972-RANGERS.

Other award winners will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

OTHER MINORS SIGNINGS: The Rangers have also signed the following five players to minor league contracts, and all will be in minor league camp this spring: LHP Kyle Fernandes, RHP Derek Hankins, LHP Zach Jackson, RHP Doug Salinas, and OF Orlando Sandoval.  Hankins and Jackson both pitched in the Texas organization last season.  Fernandes has spent his entire career in the Boston organization since being selected in the 12th round of the 2005 June draft.  He went 3-5 with a 3.73 ERA (26 ER/62.2 IP) in 35 relief appearances for Portland (AA) in 2011.  Salinas, 23, has pitched in the Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati organizations, going 5-2, 4.47 (25 ER/50.1 IP) in 47 relief appearances for Bakersfield (Cincinnati High-A) in 2011.  Sandoval, 25, has been in the Colorado organization since signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2005.  He spent last season at High-A Modesto.

NEW ARRIVAL: Meghan Harrison, wife of Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Addie Grace on Wednesday night in North Carolina.

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