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Rangers Notes: Peters Heading to Korea; Terry, Martin Sign Elsewhere

In today's Texas Rangers notebook, three players are on their way to other organizations while a newcomer was honored by Baseball America.

With Major League Baseball in a full freeze due to the lockout, news regarding free agency and trades is...scarce. Clubs cannot talk to free agents or their agents. While clubs can have internal discussions about their rosters and staff, they can't discuss players with other teams. So, trade talks are not permitted either. All players who are on 40-man rosters or qualify as big-league free agents are off-limits.

However, there is still some news regarding the Rangers. Here's the latest out of Arlington:

DJ Peters Reportedly Heading to Korea

Outfielder DJ Peters is nearing an agreement with the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization, according to Daniel Kim. The report stresses the deal is not yet complete, but "getting closer".

Peters, 25, was acquired by the Rangers in August on a waiver claim after the Los Angeles Dodgers designated him for assignment. Texas gave him an opportunity to prove himself with regular playing time. Peters displayed some impressive athleticism and a strong arm in the outfield, as well as some eye-popping raw power, hitting 12 home runs in 52 games with the Rangers.

However, he only slashed .197/.242/.422/.633 in 70 total games. During his time in Texas, he also struck out 68 times compared to only four walks. 

Even so, Peters' name was in consideration for the 2022 outfield in the early portion of the offseason. However, after the addition of Kole Calhoun and the potential of adding another free agent outfielder, the Rangers outrighted Peters to Triple-A Round Rock, removing him from the 40-man roster.

With an uncertain future in Texas, and a lockout that is affecting the market this winter, Peters might have felt he had a better opportunity to further his career overseas.

Curtis Terry, Jason Martin Sign Minor League Deals Elsewhere

Two more Rangers are off to other clubs, but these two are remaining stateside. First baseman Curtis Terry has signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins, and outfielder Jason Martin signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers.

Terry, 25, was called up by the Rangers in July after raking at Triple-A Round Rock with a .294/.375/.583/.958 slash line, 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 65 games. However, Terry struggled mightily in his first big league exposure. After slashing an abysmal .089/.146/.133/.279 with no home runs and just one RBI, he was optioned back to Round Rock after only 13 games.

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In early November, the Rangers outrighted Terry to Round Rock as part of carving out room on the 40-man roster for Rule 5-eligible prospects and free-agent signings.

Martin, 26, had a more extended opportunity than Terry, but played only 58 games while bouncing back and forth between Round Rock and Arlington. Martin had some nice moments with the Rangers, including a game-tying three-run home run on Aug. 19 against Seattle. However, he produced an underwhelming .208/.248/.354/.603 slash line, which put him down the outfield depth chart.

The Rangers outrighted Martin to Round Rock on Oct. 9.

Donnie Ecker Wins MLB Coach of the Year

Rangers new bench coach Donnie Ecker was named Baseball America's MLB Coach of the Year on Monday. Prior to becoming a member of the Rangers coaching staff, Ecker served as the hitting coach of the San Francisco Giants in 2020-21.

In a season hyped around a battle between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres for the National League West division crown, the Giants shocked the baseball world with 107 wins, the most in MLB. Ecker helped lead the Giants' veteran lineup turn around from a .694 OPS in 2019 (third-worst in MLB) to a NL-best .769 OPS in 2021.

Ecker and the Giants coaching staff had their hitters train differently by taking batting practice at full speed against pitching machines in an attempt to replicate that night’s starting pitcher. Ecker also placed a huge focus on building relationships with his players, which is something that he will carry over into his role with the Rangers.

“This all goes back to: Can you answer a question as a coach of, ‘Why do you coach?’ It’s to create as much value in their lives as possible,” Ecker told Baseball America. “Who is this person? How do they see the world? Why do they play? When we get to swing changes and path changes, if we do it from caring about the individual, it’s so much more enjoyable. It’s sustainable. You have this intimate trust in this player.”

Ecker was hired by the Rangers in November to become the club's bench coach and offensive coordinator. He was part of the hiring process when the Rangers added Tim Hyers to become the club's new hitting coach. While he did not participate in the event, Ecker was also in attendance for the slew of press conferences last Wednesday that introduced Kole Calhoun, Marcus Semien and Corey Seager.


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