11/04/11 6:58 PM EST
Rangers lose farm director Servais to Halos
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Hurley among five to elect free agency
ARLINGTON -- Pitcher Eric Hurley was one of five players who became a free agent on Friday when they refused outright assignment to Triple-A by the Rangers earlier this week.Pitchers Omar Beltre and Merkin Valdez, and infielders Esteban German and Andres Blanco also elected free agency. The Rangers outrighted all five to make room on the 40-man roster for Minor League players who need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft this winter. Pitchers Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez are among that group. Hurley was taken in first round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft. He was the Rangers' 2006 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and made five starts for the Rangers in 2008, going 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA. He then missed all of 2009-10 with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and broken left wrist. Hurley, after suffering another setback this season when he was hit in the head with a line drive at Triple-A Round Rock in April, appeared to be making a strong comeback. He was 5-0 with a 3.72 ERA in six starts in July, putting him in position to get a call to the Major Leagues if the Rangers needed a starting pitcher. But he faded in August, going 2-3 with an 8.29 ERA and was not a September callup. "We're hopeful we can entice him to re-sign with us," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We understand he wants to evaluate his options, including what he deems is a faster track to the big leagues. We understand he feels he is on the rebound from the a few injuries and his singular goal is to get to the big leagues. We hope he gets that opportunity." The Rangers are also interested in re-signing both Blanco and German. Blanco was Texas' utility infielder for the past two years before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that sidelined him for the postseason. German served as the Rangers' utility infielder in the playoffs but has spent most of the past three seasons at Triple-A.
Rangers outright pitcher Tobin to Triple-A
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have outrighted pitcher Mason Tobin to Triple-A Round Rock.
He was a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Angels last year who underwent Tommy John surgery in April and missed most of the season. He had a 6.75 ERA in four appearances for the Rangers in April before going on the disabled list.
This transaction leaves the Rangers with 31 players on their 40-man roster.Tobin was offered back to the Angels and they declined the offer. So now he is the Rangers' property and no longer under the jurisdiction of Rule 5 guidelines.
Rangers on hand to watch Moyer throw
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are among the teams that have sent a representative to watch Jamie Moyer throw in California. Moyer, who turns 49 in two weeks, missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery but is still hoping to pitch again.That the Rangers are watching him is hardly surprising and does not necessarily mean they are interested. The Rangers have 10 full-time Major League scouts and rarely do they turn down a chance to watch anybody throw. "We almost always send somebody to that pitcher," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We never assume it's not worth it. We want to explore every option to improve our ballclub." Moyer, who last pitched for the Phillies, has 267 career Major League wins, including two 20-win seasons with the Mariners.
Texas prospect Olt keeps surging in AFL
ARLINGTON -- Rangers Minor League third baseman Mike Olt, who missed the second half of the regular season with a broken collarbone, continues to make up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League.
Olt hit his league-leading seventh home run for the Surprise Saguaros on Thursday and is also hitting .324 with a .649 slugging percentage over 18 games. He ranked second with 24 RBIs going into Friday's games.In another positive development on the offensive side, infielder Leury Garcia, 20, who played at Class A Myrtle Beach, is hitting .345 after 13 games. He also has six stolen bases. Left-hander Miguel De Los Santos is 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA and leads the league with 23 strikeouts over his first six games and 17 innings. Johan Yan, a right-hander who has emerged as one of the Rangers' top Minor League pitching prospects, is 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA in eight appearances. He has pitched nine innings and allowed five runs on nine hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
Borbon returns to action in winter ball
ARLINGTON -- Julio Borbon, who missed the second half of the regular season after undergoing surgery on his left ankle, has returned to action in the Dominican Winter League. Borbon, who was the Rangers' Opening Day center fielder, is 4-for-21 in eight games with Escogido.According to the Rangers, there is a possibility that outfielder Craig Gentry could play winter ball at some point for Escogido. Right-hander Tanner Scheppers is pitching for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has pitched 6 1/3 innings over eight appearances, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and nine walks. He has struck out eight. Cody Eppley, a right-handed reliever who made 10 appearances for the Rangers early in the season, is pitching for Obregon in the Mexican League and is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA after 11 games. He has pitched 12 innings and allowed seven runs, six earned, on 14 hits, six walks and has 13 strikeouts.
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.