The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has acquired right-handed pitcher Cory Burns from San Diego in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The team has also agreed to terms with infielder Yangervis Solarte and right-handed pitcher Collin Balester on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
Burns, 25, was designated for assignment by San Diego on November 20. He made his major league debut with the Padres last season, allowing 11 runs in 18.0 innings over 17 relief appearances. His two stints in the majors came on August 3-4 and from August 11 to the end of the season. He spent the balance of the year with Triple-A Tucson, going 1-2 with 3 saves and a 3.14 ERA (23 ER/66.0 IP) in 54 relief outings. Burns also pitched for the University of Arizona in Tucson while in college.
Originally selected by Cleveland in the eighth round of the 2009 June draft, Burns was acquired by San Diego in a December 16, 2011 trade with the Indians for outfielder Aaron Cunningham. He has averaged over 10.0 strikeouts-per-9 innings in each of his 4 minor league seasons and owns a career .980 WHIP figure in the minors, pitching exclusively in relief. In 2011, Burns was named Double-A Relief Pitcher of the Year by MLB.com after recording 35 saves for Akron in the Eastern League. He had a career-high 42 saves spanning two levels in the Cleveland organization in 2010, which ranked 2nd among all minor league pitchers that year.
With the addition of Burns, the Rangers now have 39 players on the club’s 40-man roster.
Solarte, 25, returns to the Rangers organization for a second straight season. He batted .288 (149-518) with 28 doubles, 11 home runs, and 54 RBI in 130 games with Triple-A Round Rock in 2012. The switch-hitter and right-handed thrower logged time at first base, second base, third base, and left field for the Express. Solarte will be in big league camp with Texas for the second consecutive spring. The Venezuela native is a career .288 hitter over 7 minor league campaigns with Texas and Minnesota.
Balester, 26, made 11 relief appearances with Detroit last season, going 2-0 with a 6.50 ERA (13 ER/18.0 IP). He has pitched in the big leagues in each of the last 5 seasons, going 7-16 with a 5.30 ERA (109 ER/185.0 IP) over 73 games/22 starts in the majors with Washington (2008-11) and Detroit (2012). Balester spent the balance of last season with Toledo (AAA), going 1-1 with a 3.64 ERA (19 ER/47.0 IP) in 31 relief outings. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native was originally selected in the 4th round of the 2004 June draft by the Montreal Expos.
Including Solarte and Balester, the Rangers now have 8 non-roster invitees to major league spring training.
YU DARVISH NAMED 2012 TEXAS RANGERS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
The Rangers also announced today that right-hander Yu Darvish has been selected as the team’s 2012 Rookie of the Year in voting conducted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Darvish was 16-9 with a 3.90 earned run average in 29 starts in his first season with Texas after signing as a free agent in January. He led all major league rookies with 221 strikeouts, the fifth highest overall total in team history, and 191.1 innings while tying for first in wins, a club rookie record. Darvish had the A.L.’s second lowest opponents batting average (.216) and strikeouts per 9.0 innings ratio (10.4) and also ranked among the league leaders in strikeouts (3rd), wins (T5th), and winning percentage (8th, .640). He joined Cleveland’s Herb Score in 1955 as the only rookies in A.L. history with at least 16 wins and 210 strikeouts in a season, just the fifth such rookie in the modern era (since 1900). Darvish finished third in the voting for the BBWAA A.L. Rookie of the Year Award.
Darvish, Rangers Player of the Year Adrian Beltre and Rangers Pitcher of the Year Matt Harrison 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 TOMORROW, 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, coach Jackie Moore, former Rangers third baseman and Frisco RoughRiders manager Steve Buechele and team television announcers Steve Busby and Tom Grieve 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.