Per Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Texas Rangers have recently signed three free agents to minor league contracts––catcher Dusty Brown
, infielder Luis Hernandez
, and infielder/outfielder Yangervis Solarte
. All three players also received an invitation to major league spring training.
Brown, 29, is a catcher who split the 2011 season between Triple-A Indianapolis and the Pittsburgh Pirates' major league club. In 54 Triple-A games, he posted a .285/.367/.506 slash line, hitting 17 doubles and seven home runs. He also caught 13-of-41 (32 percent) attempted base stealers in the minors. Brown went 3-for-28 (.107) with a walk and 10 strikeouts in 11 major league contests. The former Red Sox prospect appeared in the Arizona Fall League for Boston in '07 and briefly reached the majors with the club in both '09 and '10, playing in 13 total games and going 4-for-15 at the plate. He'll likely serve as the Triple-A Round Rock catcher next season while providing insurance at the major league level.
Hernandez, 27, is an infielder who also has major league experience. The switch-hitter played both second base and shortstop for Triple-A Buffalo in the Mets' organization during the 2011 regular season. He appeared in 121 games with Buffalo, hitting .240/.280/.332 with 15 doubles, two triples, and six home runs. He also stole seven bases in 10 attempts. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Hernandez is currently playing for Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League, where he is batting .266/.323/.329 in 36 games.
Hernandez has 120 total games of major league experience between the '07 and '10 seasons with Baltimore, Kansas City, and the New York Mets. He's a career .245/.286/.298 hitter in 290 plate appearances. Like Brown, the Venezuela native is expected to serve as an infielder at Triple-A Round Rock and might also have an invitation to major league camp this spring.
Solarte, 24, is a first-time minor league free agent who is coming off the best season of his professional career. Another switch-hitting Venezuela native, Solarte played 121 games for Triple-A New Britain of the Twins' system in 2011 and batted .329/.367/.466 with 36 doubles and seven home runs. He drew 24 walks and struck out 38 times. He has appeared in 15 games with Aragua in Venezuela this winter and is 14-for-46 (.304) with three doubles and a triple.
The 5-foot-11, 176-pound Solarte, who was both a mid-season and post-season Eastern League All-Star this past season, played the majority of his games at second base but also saw significant action in left field. He has also played some third base in Venezuela this offseason. He'll play in the Rangers' upper minors––either Double-A or Triple-A––during the 2012 campaign.
The club also signed outfielder Orlando Sandoval in mid-November. The 25-year-old, who had been in the Colorado Rockies' organization, was previously profiled in this post.
To keep up with minor league free agents who have departed the Rangers' organization this offseason, refer to this list, which will be updated as players reach deals with various clubs.
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While the Texas Rangers have already lost three players due to minor league free agency, the organization has also added four players via minor league contracts. Lone Star Dugout profiles the three most recent signings.
Lone Star Dugout profiles three players the Rangers recently signed to minor league contracts