Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has purchased the contracts of infielder Leury Garcia (pronounced luhr-EE) from Frisco (AA) and left-handed pitcher Joe Ortiz from Round Rock (AAA), adding them to the 40-man roster.
In addition, the club has re-acquired right-handed pitcher Jake Brigham for the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-handed pitcher Barret Loux and a player to be named later. Brigham has also been added to the Rangers’ major league roster, putting that list at 38 players.
The team has also signed right-handed pitcher Johan Yan to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
Garcia, 21, batted .292 (110-377) with 12 doubles, 11 triples, 2 home runs, 30 RBI, and 31 stolen bases in 100 games with Double-A Frisco in 2012. The switch-hitter split time between second base and shortstop last season, and also appeared in center field. Garcia ranked among Texas League leaders in both triples (2nd) and stolen bases (5th), while posting the 4th-highest batting average among Texas farmhands in full season leagues. He is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League with Cibao and batting .288 (23-80) with 4 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs, 7 RBI, and 3 stolen bases in 20 games, logging time at second, third, shortstop, and center field. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.
Ortiz, 22, combined to go 2-3 with 6 saves and a 2.15 ERA (15 ER/62.2 IP) over 51 relief appearances with Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock last season. The southpaw tallied 52 strikeouts against just 9 walks. Ortiz limited left-handed batters to a .216 average (21-97) in 2012, with opponents batting .242 (57-236) overall. The Venezuela native held the opposition to a .220 average (13-59) with runners in scoring position. Ortiz is currently with La Guaira in the Venezuelan Winter League, going 0-2 with a 3.95 ERA (6 ER/13.2 IP) over 16 relief appearances. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2006.
Brigham, 24, opened the 2012 season at Frisco (AA), going 5-5, 4.28 (59 ER/124.0 IP) with 116 strikeouts in 21 starts for the RoughRiders. He was traded to the Cubs on July 31 in exchange for catcher Geovany Soto and was 0-2 in two starts (8 ER/3.2 IP) at Tennessee (AA) before going on the disabled list on August 9 for the rest of the season with a right elbow strain. Brigham was selected by Texas in the sixth round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft and was added to the major league roster for the first time in November 2011.
Loux, 23, was 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 starts at Frisco (AA) in 2011, his second professional season after signing as a free agent with Texas in November 2010.
Yan, 24, combined to go 1-1 with 11 saves and a 3.98 ERA (23 ER/52.0 IP) over 45 relief outings between Frisco and Round Rock last season, tying for the 2nd-most saves among Texas farmhands in 2012. The side-winding righty held opposing right-handed batters to a .217 average (26-120), while opponents hit .254 (50-197) overall. Opponents hit just .174 (12-69) with runners in scoring position against Yan. He is currently pitching in the Dominican Winter League for Cibaenas, where he has gone 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA (3 ER/7.2 IP) in 11 relief appearances. Yan, who was signed by Texas as an infielder in 2005 and converted to the mound in 2009, will be in big league camp for the first time.
MATT HARRISON NAMED 2012 TEXAS RANGERS PITCHER OF THE YEAR
The Rangers also announced today that left-hander Matt Harrison has been selected as the team’s 2012 Pitcher of the Year in voting conducted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Harrison was 18-11 with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts with the Rangers in 2012. He ranked third in the A.L. in wins and complete games (4-tied) and placed seventh in ERA and innings (213.1), leading the staff in all four categories. His 18 victories tied the club record for wins by a left-hander with Kenny Rogers (2004). Harrison was just the second Rangers pitcher ever with 18+ wins and a sub-3.30 ERA for a season, joining Ferguson Jenkins in 1974 and 1978.
Harrison, who earned Pitcher of the Year honors for the first time, and Rangers Player of the Year Adrian Beltre will be among the award recipients at the 2013 Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Show, which will be held in conjunction with Texas Rangers Fan Fest on Friday, January 11 at the Arlington Convention Center. Other award winners will be announced in upcoming weeks. Tickets for Fan Fest, which will take place January 11-12, are on sale at texasrangers.com/fanfest or by calling 972-RANGERS.
RANGERS HOT STOVE EVENT REMINDER: The First Texas Rangers Hot Stove Event will be held next Thursday, November 29 from 4:00 until 9:00 p.m. in Captain Morgan Club at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Hot Stove Event is open free of charge to all fans. Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers and coach Jackie Moore will be on hand to sign autographs from 6:00 until 7:00 p.m. There will be discounted food and beverage items on sale in Captain Morgan Club, and the adjacent Kids Zone will also be open. In addition, the Kids Zone Retail Store will have a selection of Rangers Merchandise discounted up to 80% off of the original price. Fans attending the Hot Stove Event can park in the B Lot at the corner of Ballpark Way and Randol Mill Road and enter Rangers Ballpark and Captain Morgan Club through the Center Field Gate.
OLSEN SIGNS MINORS CONTRACT WITH NO INVITE: Texas has signed left-handed pitcher Scott Olsen to a minor league contract, and he will be in minor league camp this spring. Olsen, who turns 29 on January 12, has gone 37-49 with a 4.85 ERA over 130 games/127 starts in his major league career with the Marlins (2005-08) and Nationals (2009-10). He signed with the Chicago White Sox last January and spent the first three months of the season on the minor league disabled list with left rotator cuff inflammation. He made 3 minor league starts in the Chicago-AL organization before being released on July 7.
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE RECAP: INF Chris McGuiness, who was named the AFL MVP on Saturday, led the league with 27 RBI and also ranked among the leaders in home runs (T3rd, 4), total bases (T6th, 43), hits (T7th, 26), and walks (T10th, 13)…INF Hanser Alberto capped his Fall League debut with a 4-hit performance on November 15 to raise his season average to .397 (25-63), 3rd-best in the league…SS Luis Sardinas batted .318 (14-44) in 11 games with Surprise…LHP Jimmy Reyes posted a 0.68 ERA (1 ER/13.1 IP) and held opponents to a .152 average (7-46) over 9 relief appearances…RHP Ryan Rodebaugh compiled 9.0 scoreless innings with 7 strikeouts over his last 7 relief appearances…Rodebaugh recorded at least one strikeout in 9 of his 10 appearances with the Saguaros…RHP Ben Rowen registered 7 strikeouts over 5.1 innings in his final 4 relief outings.
WINTER LEAGUE UPDATES
Dominican Winter League: OF Engel Beltre (Licey) ranks among the league leaders in triples (2nd, 5), batting (6th, .323), and RBI (T10th, 14)…3B Mike Olt (Licey) hit his second home run yesterday and has hit safely in 7 of his last 8 games.
Puerto Rican Winter League: C Jorge Alfaro (Ponce) batted. 314 (11-35) with 2 home runs and 7 RBI through his first 9 games…OF Mike Bianucci (Ponce) has hit .314 (11-35) with 4 doubles, a home run, and 7 RBI through 9 games.
Mexican Winter League: C Jose Felix is batting .325 (13-40) with 3 doubles and 7 RBI in 14 games for Guasave.
Venezuelan Winter League: RHP Wilfredo Boscan still leads the league with a 0.65 ERA (2 ER/27.2 IP) in 6 games/starts for Zulia.