Rangers add four to the roster

The Rangers are adding four Minor League players to their roster: pitchers Fabio Castillo and Wilmer Font, and outfielder Engel Beltre are three of them.

Also catcher Kevin Cash and Esteban German have been signed to Minor League contracts. Outfielder Doug Deeds has also signed. Here is the release from the Rangers:

The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has purchased the contracts of the following four players, adding all four to the club’s 40-man roster: right-handed pitchers Fabio Castillo and Wilmer Font, left-handed pitcher Miguel De Los Santos, and outfielder Engel (pronounced Angel) Beltre.  With these additions, the Rangers now have 37 players on the club’s 40-man roster (see end of release for listing).

Additionally, the club has signed catcher Kevin Cash, outfielder Doug Deeds, and infielder Esteban German to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.  These are the first players with non-roster invites for the club’s 2011 spring camp.

Castillo, 21, spent the bulk of the 2010 campaign with Bakersfield (High-A) before a promotion to Frisco (AA) in the season’s final week, as he combined to go 1-3 with a 2.11 ERA (13 ER/55.1 IP) and 67 strikeouts in 39 relief appearances. The right-hander held opponents to a .219 average (44-201), including a .190 mark (24-126) against right-handed hitters. The Dominican Republic native also made 9 relief appearances for the Surprise Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, going 0-1 with a 2.79 ERA (3 ER/9.2 IP) and 2 saves. Castillo earned a spot in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, tossing 1.0 scoreless inning of relief.

Font, 20, combined to go 5-3 with a 4.35 ERA (38 ER/78.2 IP) in 16 starts between Hickory (Low-A) and Bakersfield (High-A) last season. He compiled a 2.87 ERA (15 ER/47.0 IP) with 50 strikeouts in 8 starts with Bakersfield, holding opponents to a .206 average (34-165), before landing on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation on July 7.  He had “Tommy John” ligament transplant surgery on the elbow on Oct. 1, 2010.  The Venezuela native entered this past season as the Rangers’ 10th-best prospect according to Baseball America.

De Los Santos, 22, split the campaign between Spokane (Rookie-Advanced) and Hickory (Low-A), combining to go 4-2 with a 2.94 ERA (23 ER/70.1 IP) and 112 strikeouts in 19 games/13 starts. The Dominican Republic native earned Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors in July. The 6-foot-1 southpaw registered 10-or-more strikeouts in a start 4 times, including 3 of his final 6 starts with Hickory. De Los Santos is currently pitching for Este in the Dominican Winter League.


Beltre, who turned 21 on November 1, split the campaign between Bakersfield (High-A) and Frisco (AA) after entering the season as the Rangers’ 14th-best prospect according to Baseball America.  The 6-foot-1 left-handed batter combined to hit .300 (133-444) with 15 doubles, 8 triples, 6 home runs, 49 RBI, and 18 stolen bases in 115 games. The Dominican Republic native logged the 3rd-most at-bats by a player less than 21 years old at the Double-A level and finished the season as the youngest position player in the Texas League and 3rd-youngest overall behind teammate Martin Perez (19). Beltre won the club’s Minor League Defensive Player of the Month award in May and led Frisco with 6 RBI in the playoffs. Following the season, Beltre played in 12 games with the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, and is currently hitting .419 (13-31) with 4 RBI in 13 games with Licey in the Dominican Winter League.


Cash, who turns 33 on December 6, appeared in 49 games for the Astros and Red Sox last season, batting .167 (19-114) with 2 homers and 5 RBI.  The right-handed hitter was a non-roster player in Astros camp last spring and appeared in 20 games for Houston before he was designated for assignment on June 22.  He was acquired by Boston in a July 1 trade in exchange for shortstop Angel Sanchez and appeared in 29 games with the Red Sox.  Cash also appeared in 12 minor league games last season.  He is a career .183 hitter in 246 big league games with Toronto (2002-04), Tampa Bay (2005), Boston (2007-08, 2010), New York-AL (2009), and Houston (2010).


Deeds, 29, spent all of last season with Reno (AAA) in the Arizona organization, batting .302 (145-480) with 12 homers, 39 doubles, 8 triples, and 55 RBI.  His 39 doubles ranked 3rd in the Pacific Coast League, and he went 0-for-3 with a walk as the starting PCL centerfielder in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 14 in Allentown, Pa.  A career .296 hitter in 9 minor league seasons, the left-handed batter and thrower has never appeared in the majors but has played at either Double- or Triple-A for each of the last 6 years in the Minnesota (2002-07), Chicago-NL (2008-09), and Arizona (2010) organizations.  He was originally selected by Minnesota in the 9th round of the 2002 June draft out of Ohio State University.


German, 32, returns to the Rangers after being outrighted off the 40-man roster on November 5.  He was on the club’s Division Series roster, but did not appear in a game in the 2010 postseason.  He went 3-for-13 (.231) with 5 runs scored in 13 games with Texas as a September call-up.  German spent the entire season with Oklahoma City (AAA), batting .280 with 5 home runs, 27 doubles, and 55 RBI in 126 games, and ranking second in the Pacific Coast League with 50 steals.  He is a career .278 hitter in the majors with Oakland (2002-04), Texas (2005, 2009-10), and Kansas City (2006-08).


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