San Antonio, Texas - The Texas Rangers today received catcher Chris Gimenez (pronounced JIM-ehn-ehz) on a waiver claim from the Oakland Athletics. To make room for Gimenez on the 40-man roster, the club has designated left-handed pitcher Michael Kirkman for assignment.
Gimenez, 31, was acquired by Oakland on a waiver claim from Tampa Bay on December 20, 2013. He was in major league spring training camp with the A's, batting .242 (8-33) with 3 doubles, no home runs, and 3 RBI in 25 games. Gimenez has seen action in 143 major league games with Cleveland (2009-10), Seattle (2011), and Tampa Bay (2012-13), batting .199 at the plate. Primarily a catcher, he has also seen action in the majors in the outfield, as well as at first base and third base. Gimenez hit one of his 6 career big league home runs in Arlington.
Kirkman has spent his entire professional career in the Rangers organization since he was selected by the club in the 5th round of the 2005 June draft. He is 2-5 with a 5.17 ERA over 82 career appearances in the majors, all with Texas. He had a 5.25 ERA (7 ER/12.0 IP) with 8 walks and 12 strikeouts over 5 games this spring. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release, or outright Kirkman to the minor leagues.
With these moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster plus three players on the 60-day disabled list.
BAKER JOINS RANGERS: The Rangers also formally announced today that right-handed pitcher Scott Baker has been signed to a minor league contract. He is expected to open the season with Triple-A Round Rock. Baker, 32, spent the entire spring in Seattle's major league camp as a non-roster invitee, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA (9 ER/12.0 IP) in 4 games/starts for the Mariners. He was released on Tuesday, March 25. He had 'Tommy John' ligament replacement surgery in April 2012 while in the Twins organization and returned in September 2013 to make 3 starts with the Cubs. He has a career record of 63-48 with a 4.15 ERA over 163 games/159 starts in the major leagues with Minnesota (2005-11) and Chicago-NL (2013). Baker, who pitched at Oklahoma State University, had career highs with 15 wins and 200.0 innings for the Twins in 2009.