DALLAS, Texas — The Texas Rangers made a small move on their off day, acquiring RHP Dennis Santana from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor league LHP Kelvin Bautista. The Rangers have optioned Santana to Triple-A Round Rock.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Santana, the Rangers have designated LHP Hyeon-jong Yang for assignment.

Santana, 25, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Saturday. He owns a 6.00 ERA (10 earned runs in 15 innings) over a career-high 16 relief appearances with Dodgers this season, ranking sixth on the Dodgers staff in appearances despite being optioned on May 27.

Santana was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2013, posting a 4.34 ERA with 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 122 games (77 starts) over seven minor league seasons, all in the Dodgers organization. The Dominican Republic native was signed as a shortstop, but converted to the mound after his first pro season and has worked primarily as a starter throughout his minor league career. 

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This season, Santana 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA (6 ER in 5 1/3 innings) over three starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City. His last outing was a start on Friday against El Paso, pitching two scoreless innings with one hit allowed.

Bautista, originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2017, has been with the Rangers’ group in Surprise, Arizona for extended spring training games, but he has not seen action in an official game since 2019. He has a career 3-1 record with a 3.70 ERA over 32 relief appearances in the Dominican Summer League and Arizona League in 2018-2019.

Yang went 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in eight games (four starts) with the Rangers this season. After having some struggles, the Rangers optioned him to Round Rock prior to Wednesday night's game in Houston. The Rangers have seven days to trade, release, or outright Yang to the minor leagues.

The decision to designate Yang for assignment doesn't come without surprise. Despite his recent struggles, Yang pitched his way to a long relief/spot start role when the tandem situation wasn't panning out. The Rangers could still hold onto Yang if they outright him and he clears waivers. If not, the Rangers could look to add more talent to the system and give Yang an opportunity elsewhere.

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