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Rangers ink dozen out of Latin America

Rangers ink dozen out of Latin America

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BALTIMORE -- A quality left-handed pitcher, a speedy center fielder and a power-hitting corner outfielder are among the Rangers' top signings out of Latin America this year.

The Rangers announced on Friday that they have signed 12 Latin American free agents, including eight out of Venezuela and four out of the Dominican Republic.

The players who seem to intrigue the Rangers most are Venezuelan southpaw Edwin Escobar and center fielder Teodoro Martinez, as well as Dominican corner outfielder Esdras Abreu.

Martinez is the son of former Major League outfielder Carlos Martinez, who played for the White Sox and Indians and hit the fly ball that bounced off Jose Canseco's head and over the wall in 1993. Escobar is the cousin of Angels starting pitcher Kelvim Escobar.

The Rangers also signed Venezuelan third baseman Carlos Torrez, who is a cousin of the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera.

The Rangers still haven't signed their top two picks from the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Texas has until Aug. 15 to ink South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak and left-hander Robbie Ross, a high school pitcher out of Kentucky.

"We would like to have both physically in the system, but we understand the process and have to deal with the pace of the process," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

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

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