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Rangers acquire Burns, sign Balester, Solarte

Rangers acquire Burns, sign Balester, Solarte

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Rangers acquire Burns, sign Balester, Solarte
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired right-handed reliever Cory Burns from the Padres for either cash or a player to be named. The Rangers also signed pitcher Collin Balester and infielder Yangervis Solarte to Minor League contracts with an invitation to Spring Training.

Burns appeared in 17 games for the Padres last season and was 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA. In 18 innings, he allowed 26 hits, 10 walks and struck out 18.

"He is a deceptive right-hander with a good changeup and a track record of performance," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He'll come to camp with an opportunity to win a job in our bullpen."

Burns pitched in 54 games for Triple-A Tucson and was 1-2 with a 3.14 ERA. In 66 innings, he allowed 49 hits, 17 walks and struck out 48. He was at Double-A Akron in the Indians' organization in 2010 when he had a 2.11 ERA and 35 saves.

The Indians drafted him in the eighth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arizona. They traded him to the Padres last offseason for outfielder Aaron Cunningham. Cunningham has since signed with the Rangers as a non-roster player.

Burns has pitched in 184 Minor League games with a 2.36 ERA while allowing 52 walks and 266 strikeouts in 213 innings. His career Minor League WHIP is 0.98.

Balester, 26, pitched in 11 games for the Tigers this past season and was 2-0 with a 6.50 ERA. In 18 innings he allowed 14 hits and 11 walks while striking out 12. Prior to that he pitched in parts of four seasons for the Nationals with a record of 5-16 with a 5.30 ERA before being traded for pitcher Ryan Perry.

He was a fourth-round pick out of high school by the Nationals in 2004. The Rangers tried to acquire him in 2005 in the trade that sent infielder Alfonso Soriano to Washington but the Nationals wouldn't include him in the trade.

"Collin's a guy we have liked for a while," Daniels said. "We feel he has some untapped potential and is still young enough to capitalize on it. Relievers come from all backgrounds and in all shapes and sizes. He'll get a shot to win a job this spring."

Solarte played at Triple-A Round Rock last year and hit .288 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. He played second, third and the outfield. He was in Rangers camp last spring.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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