The Texas Rangers released right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama on Thursday, ending his tenure with the club after two seasons, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
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Tateyama will try to latch on with another big-league team in free agency, though he's unlikely to get anything more than a minor-league deal wherever he ends up.
The 37-year-old joined Texas in 2011 after playing 12 seasons with the Nippon Ham-Fighters in Japan. He began his tenure with the Rangers in Triple-A but quickly made his way up to Arlington in late May. The side-armed right-hander stuck with the big-league for the rest of the season, posting a 4.50 ERA and 8.8 K/9 rate in 44 innings.
Tateyama made it onto the Rangers' postseason roster that year, and was rewarded with a $1 million contract for 2012. Starting the season on the DL with back problems, the right-hander was again called up to Texas in late May, but this time he wouldn't last. Tateyama bounced up and down between the minors and majors over the next five months, amassing just 17 innings total (and a 9.00 ERA) for the Rangers on the year.
Texas released Tateyama following the season, but then signed him to another minor-league deal in December. He threw just four innings in camp this spring, allowing two runs while striking out three.
Tateyama has never had trouble missing bats (9.0 K/9) or with avoiding free passes (2.5 BB/9), but his home run rate of 1.8 per nine is cause for concern. However, if teams chalk up his proclivity for the long ball as a result of pitching in Arlington, then he could find himself back in a big-league bullpen at some point this year.