1/29/2014 3:59 P.M. ET
Rangers claim Figueroa from Rays
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers claimed left-handed pitcher Pedro Figueroa on waivers from the Rays and designated right-handed pitcher Chaz Roe for assignment on Wednesday. Figueroa was claimed on waivers by the Rays on Jan. 7 and then placed back on them after they signed reliever Grant Balfour.
Figueroa, who has been held back by erratic control, could be a candidate for the Rangers' bullpen, especially if they decide to move left-hander Robbie Ross into the rotation. Ross, Neal Cotts, Michael Kirkman and Joseph Ortiz are the four left-handed relievers currently on the Rangers' 40-man roster.
The Rangers have four right-handed relievers who are expected to be in the bullpen: Neftali Feliz, Tanner Scheppers, Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria. Other right-handed candidates with Major League experience include Shawn Tolleson, Wilmer Font, Miles Mikolas and Cory Burns.
Figueroa, 26, appeared in 24 games for the Athletics over the past two seasons with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. In 24 2/3 innings, he allowed 22 hits and 18 walks while recording 17 strikeouts.
"He has a lively arm," said Josh Boyd, Rangers director of professional scouting. "Our scouts have seen mid 90s [fastball] and touching 97 with signs of a good slider. It's going to be a matter of command and consistency for him, but he has the potential to be impactful with that kind of stuff from the left side out of the bullpen."
Figueroa spent most of 2012-13 at Triple-A Sacramento, where he was a combined 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 78 games. In 104 innings, he allowed 92 hits, 51 walks and 89 strikeouts. He also had a 3.86 ERA pitching in seven games for Licey in the Dominican Winter League but has not pitched since Dec. 21.
Roe was acquired on a waiver claim from the D-backs on Nov. 1. He was 1-0 with a 4.03 ERA in 21 games. The Rangers have 10 days to trade him, release him or send him to the Minor Leagues through outright waivers.
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.