Last year, I did a recap of the winter meetings, talking about Ross Detwiler, Delino DeShields, and Scott Barnes. Barnes was released a couple of days later without throwing a single pitch for the Rangers. Detwiler was released in mid-July, having thrown far too many pitches for the Rangers. And DeShields was the surprise of the season, a Rule 5 draft pick that became the spark plug for the Rangers.
Here is who the Rangers netted this year in Nashville:
Barnette is a thirty-two year-old right-handed reliever who was drafted by the Diamondbacks but was never able to break into to the big leagues. He has spent the last six seasons in Japan with the Yakult Swallows. His first year in Japan, he got fifteen mostly uneventful, unremarkable starts, and was used exclusively out of the pen the next five seasons. His two best seasons were 2012 when he racked up thirty-three saves, and this past season when he put up forty-one saves with an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.89. Texas paid a posting fee of $500,000 to Yakult for the right to negotiate with Barnette. Maybe a fresh start with a new organization and in a new country will be the boost Barnette’s career needs.
Jaye is a soon-to-be twenty-four year old right-handed pitcher and a seventeenth-round pick by the Blue Jays in 2010. He pitched with Double-A Birmingham last season, going 12-9 with a 3.29 ERA in twenty-six starts. Jon Daniels says the acquisition of Jaye helps the organization build their starting depth. The Rangers traded Will Lamb to get Miles Jaye.
Jones is the speedy twenty-seven year old, left-handed hitting center fielder the Rangers picked up in the Leonys Martin and Anthony Bass trade. He was immediately non-tendered but in one last bit of Winter Meetings paperwork, the Rangers signed Jones to a minor-league deal, with an invitation to the major league camp. Daniels considers Jones a late-bloomer, with raw talent and the potential to be a plus defender in the outfield.