ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have announced their Winter Caravan with players, coaches, executives and alumni making more than 50 appearances in the next month in Texas and Oklahoma.The 2012 caravan will travel to Austin, Abilene, Corpus Christi, Gail, Killeen, Kingsville, Longview, Lubbock, Round Rock, San Antonio, Sherman, Tyler, Waco, and Wichita Falls in Texas and Oklahoma City as well as numerous locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The caravan will make 15 public appearances at Academy Sports and Outdoors locations, the most ever. That will include five Town Hall programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where fans will be able to participate in question-and-answer sessions as well as receive autographs from Rangers personalities and Rangers Captain. In addition, fans can have their pictures taken with the 2010 and 2011 American League championship trophies at each Town Hall appearances. All caravan stops are free to the public. The schedule of participants is subject to change and the number of autographs to be signed will be limited depending on location. The first stop is a Town Hall and autograph session at 6:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday at the Academy Sports and Outdoors in Arlington, located at 1101 West Arbrook Blvd. Scheduled to appear are pitchers Colby Lewis and Derek Holland, catcher Mike Napoli, manager Ron Washington, broadcaster Tom Grieve and Rangers vice president Jim Sundberg.
Adams undergoes minor hernia surgery
ARLINGTON -- Rangers reliever Mike Adams is expected to report to Spring Training behind other pitchers after undergoing surgery to repair an abdominal hernia on Wednesday.Adams has been bothered by discomfort for the past three weeks and decided to have the surgery rather than let it linger. He is still expected to be fully recovered in plenty of time to be ready for Opening Day. "He's doing well," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "It was minor enough surgery that it should not impact his season." The Rangers acquired Adams from the Padres on July 31 for Minor League pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. He was 2-3 with a 2.10 ERA and one save in 27 games for the Rangers and 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 games during the playoffs.
Rangers hire father-in-law to support Hamilton
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have hired Josh Hamilton's father-in-law as a special staff assistant. Michael Dean Chadwick, father of Katie Hamilton, will fill the support role for Josh that Johnny Narron did the previous four years. Chadwick and Hamilton have a relationship that goes back many years.Chadwick, who is also a recovering addict, was instrumental from the beginning in helping Hamilton in his recovery from drug and alcohol problems. Chadwick has worked for other professional sports teams, including the Washington Redskins. Narron served in two roles for the Rangers. He was Hamilton's mentor and guardian and, with a baseball background, he served as the Rangers' assistant hitting coach. He was hired by the Rangers right after they acquired Hamilton from the Reds four years ago. He was hired earlier in the winter by the Brewers as their hitting coach. Chadwick will serve mainly in a role of support for Hamilton. The Rangers hired him after multiple discussions with the Hamiltons. "Josh is in a different place today than when we first acquired him, both personally and professionally," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Everybody agreed when we first traded for Josh, we felt Johnny was a key person, and he was. We're a lot more comfortable where Josh is right now. We view this more as support for Josh at this point." The Rangers do not expect to hire an assistant hitting coach to replace Narron. They are looking for a Minor League hitting instructor and expect to hire somebody soon.
Rangers add righty Reynolds in deal with Rox
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have acquired right-handed pitcher Greg Reynolds from the Rockies for Minor League infielder Chad Tracy.Reynolds was taken by the Rockies with the second overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Stanford and has a career Major League record of 5-8 with a 7.47 ERA in 16 starts and 11 relief appearances. He was once a top prospect for the Rockies before experiencing serious arm problems. He was selected ahead of Evan Longoria, Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw and was moving quickly through the Rockies' system until a shoulder injury in 2009 sidetracked his career. He pitched in one game that season and just 19 in 2010 while dealing with an elbow injury. "This deal is about a change of scenery and fresh start for two guys that deserve it," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We've liked Greg in the past and are hoping the length of time that's passed since he got hurt in '09 will allow him to reach his potential, which was considerable at one point.
"With Chad, we'll be pulling for him to do well, too. You don't always root for the guys you trade to make you look bad, but this is one case where we won't mind if it plays out that way."
Reynolds pitched in 13 games for the Rockies this past season in five stints with them, going 3-0 with a 6.19 ERA in three starts and 10 relief appearances. The rest of the time he was at Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he went 6-7 with a 6.81 ERA in 19 starts. He was outrighted off the 40-man roster at the end of the season.Reynolds made 13 starts and one relief appearance for the Rockies in 2008 and was 2-8 with an 8.13 ERA. He is not on the Rangers' 40-man roster but could be a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Tracy was a third-round pick for the Rangers in 2006 as a catcher out of Pepperdine University. A shoulder problem limited his ability to catch and he has been used in the outfield and at first base over the past three seasons. He played in 134 games at Triple-A Round Rock last year and hit .259 with 26 home runs and 109 RBIs. A right-handed hitter, he batted just .215 against left-handed pitching.
GM Daniels mum on negotiations with Darvish
ARLINGTON -- Pitcher Yu Darvish and his father have returned to Japan after his visit to Arlington this week. The Rangers confirmed the visit, but general manager Jon Daniels is adhering to his policy of not commenting about Darvish while negotiations are ongoing."It's best for us to lay low," Daniels said. "The less noise around that, the better." The Rangers, submitting a bid of approximately $51.7 million, won the rights to negotiate with Darvish and have until 4 p.m. CT on Jan. 18 to sign him to a Major League contract. Otherwise he will return to the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan. Negotiations have begun but are nowhere near a resolution, and the Rangers are expecting that this could go down to the final day.
Feliz to take part in Rangers' pitching camp
ARLINGTON -- Neftali Feliz, who is being moved from the bullpen to the rotation this spring, will be among the pitchers who are attending a mid-winter pitchers camp from Jan. 17-20 at the Ballpark in Arlington.The Rangers are bringing in a number of their young pitchers to Arlington to work out. Pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins will supervise the camp. Greg Maddux, who was hired this winter as a special pitching instructor, will also attend the camp as will club president Nolan Ryan. Alexi Ogando is also expected to be at the camp. But this will give the Rangers a chance to work directly with Feliz, who has spent the past 2 1/2 seasons in the Majors as a reliever. He was a starter in the Minor Leagues. "We want to see where he is at," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He's started his offseason program ... this is a chance for him to check in and the staff to check in with him."
The Minor League pitchers attending are right-handers Jake Brigham, Wilmer Font, Justin Grimm, Mark Hamburger, Roman Mendez, Justin Miller, Neil Ramirez, Tanner Scheppers and Matt West, and left-handers Michael Kirkman, Martin Perez, Robbie Ross and Miguel De Los Santos.
Perez (No. 2), Scheppers (No. 4), Kirkman (No. 5) and Ross (No. 7) are among the Rangers' Top 10 prospects.
The Rangers continue to have some interest in free-agent left-handed reliever Michael Gonzalez. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier this offseason and the Rangers asked for a medical update this week. Players are eligible to file for arbitration beginning on Thursday. The big date is Jan. 17, when players and clubs exchange arbitration figures.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.