Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has agreed to terms with infielder Kensuke Tanaka (pronounced kin-SOO-kay teh-NAH-kuh) and left-handed pitcher Ryan Feierabend (pronounced FEAR-ahh-bend) on minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.
The 32-year-old Tanaka made his major league debut last season with San Francisco, batting .267 (8-30) with 2 RBI and 4 runs in 15 games with the Giants in July. The left-handed batter spent the balance of the season with Fresno (AAA), hitting .329 (113-343) with one homer, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 32 RBI, and 54 runs in 107 games. He had 42 walks against 36 strikeouts with 22 steals, playing primarily second base and left field. He also played 9 games for Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League after the 2013 season, batting .281 (9-32) with 4 doubles and 4 RBI.
Tanaka came to the U.S. after a 13-year career with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japan Pacific League from 2000-12. He was a teammate for the entirety of Yu Darvish's career in Japan, including a 2006 club that won the Fighters' first Japan Series title since 1961. Tanaka had a career average of .286 over 1079 games in Japan, including a career-best .335 figure for the 2006 championship club, which ranked 2nd in the Pacific League that year. Over a 5-year span from 2006-10, Tanaka's 134 stolen bases ranked 6th in Nippon Professional Baseball.
Feierabend, 28, returns to the Texas organization after going a combined 7-7 with a 3.70 ERA (61 ER/148.1 IP) over 29 games/21 starts for Round Rock (AAA) and Frisco (AA) last season. He spent the bulk of the year at Round Rock, going 6-5 with a 3.66 ERA (49 ER/120.1 IP) in 24 games/16 starts for the Express, ranking T2nd on the staff with 79 strikeouts. He pitched in the majors in 3 consecutive seasons from 2006-08, all with Seattle, going a combined 2-11 with a 7.22 ERA in 25 games/19 starts.
With today's additions, the Rangers now have 13 non-roster invites for major league spring training: pitchers Nate Adcock, Jose Contreras, Feierabend, Justin Germano, Colby Lewis, Aaron Poreda, and Armando Rodriguez, infielders Kevin Kouzmanoff, Brent Lillibridge, Tanaka, and Josh Wilson, and outfielders Bryan Petersen and Brad Snyder.
McCUTCHEN AGREES TO MINORS DEAL: Texas has agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed pitcher Daniel McCutchen, and he will be in minor league camp this spring. He spent last season in the Baltimore organization, going a combined 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA (23 ER/60.1 IP) in 25 games/7 starts with Norfolk (AAA) and Bowie (AA). He pitched for the Pirates every year from 2009-12, and has a career 8-11 record with a 4.77 ERA (100 ER/188.2 IP) over 108 games/15 starts in the major leagues, all with Pittsburgh. He had a career-high 73 appearances with the Pirates in 2011. Born in McKinney in suburban Dallas, McCutchen attended high school in Norman (Okla.) and pitched at Grayson County College (Denison, Texas), the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Central Oklahoma.