Texas Rangers Notes: Moreland, Barnette, and Houston's Next Manager?
The Rangers are still looking for another potential piece to add to the roster before they break for spring training in Surprise. They struck out on Nicholas Castellanos and couldn't woo the Pirates with a deal for Starling Marte.
Meanwhile, a couple of former Rangers have booked their itineraries for their next destinations.
Mitch Moreland Reunites With the Red Sox
Mitch Moreland is reportedly heading back to Boston.
Moreland has spent the previous three seasons with Boston and made the all star team in the 2018 Red Sox championship season. Moreland will likely reprise his role as a part of a platoon at first base for Boston. He served as the primary hitter against right-handed pitching, but injury issues limited him to only 91 games in 2019.
Moreland spent seven season with the Rangers. He was a part of the Rangers' two American League championship seasons in 2010 and 2011. He also won a Gold Glove at first base in 2016.
Tony Barnette Announces His Retirement
Former Rangers reliever Tony Barnette announced his retirement on his Instagram account on Tuesday night.
Barnette signed a one-year deal with the Cubs for the 2019 season. A combination of shoulder problem and family issues limited him to only 1 1/3 innings in 2019. The Cubs declined their $3 million option on Barnette.
He was drafted in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Barnette didn't make his Major League debut until 2016 with the Rangers after spending six successful seasons in Japan.
Despite not having a long Major League career, Barnette was a reliable reliever in three seasons for the Rangers. He had an rocky 2017 campaign, but it was sandwiched by two very strong seasons in 2016 and 2018. Barnette finishes his Major League career with a 3.53 ERA in 145 1/3 innings pitched and two saves.
Houston Plans to Hire Dusty Baker as Their Next Manager
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported Tuesday morning that the Astros had decided to hire Dusty Baker and that the two sides were negotiating a contract. On Tuesday night, MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported that the Astros were hoping to finalize the deal on Wednesday.
Houston is coming off their punishment for their cheating scandal by stealing signs using technology in real time. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch were bot suspended by Major League Baseball for one year and then subsequently fired by Astros' owner Jim Crane.
Baker, 70, is an interesting hire for the Astros. Houston has been considered one of the more analytical teams in baseball and Baker is cut from a more old school cloth. However, his personality could help reset the tone and culture of the team as they look to put their tarnished past behind them.
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