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Texas wants utility infielder who can play shortstop


PHOENIX -- Friday's game with the Brewers offered a reminder of why the Rangers are still looking for a utility infielder who can play shortstop. Yangervis Solarte started there on Friday, because Elvis Andrus and Leury Garcia are in the World Baseball Classic, and manager Ron Washington wanted to give Jurickson Profar a day off.

Solarte is a candidate to make the team as a utility player but faces long odds, because he has limited experience at shortstop. He has played just 10 games there over his seven-year Minor League career. He does offer the ability to play second, third and the outfield, but the Rangers signed veteran Jeff Baker to a Minor League contract this winter.

Baker can play all those positions as well, he is having a good spring and he could give the Rangers a right-handed bat off the bench. But he has not played shortstop in the Majors, although that was his position at Clemson.

So, the Rangers are still looking for a utility infielder who can play shortstop. Profar and Garcia have that ability, unless the Rangers decide they want those two highly-regarded prospects playing regularly in the Minor Leagues until there is a full-time job available.

The Rangers may end up acquiring somebody before the end of Spring Training.

Veteran John McDonald, 38, could be available if the Diamondbacks decide to go with Willie Bloomquist as their shortstop. The Brewers have Jeff Bianchi, who is out of options, and Donnie Murphy, who is in their camp on a Minor League contract. The Brewers are more likely to move Murphy.

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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