The Texas Rangers have been mutilated by injuries as they head into the 2014 season. In response, they have made a rapid succession of moves to patch together a functional roster in the absence of their regulars.
The hustle in Rangers front offices today unprecedented from what I've ever witnessed— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) March 26, 2014
The Rangers have agreed to sign free agent right hander Scott Baker, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. The move is likely an effort to add depth to a rotation that could be without Yu Darvish to begin the season. No structural damage was reported in an MRI on Darish's neck, but stiffness is likely to cause him to miss his first scheduled start of the season.
Derek Holland and Matt Harrison are currently dealing with injuries as well.
The team also claimed right hander Seth Rosin from the Dodgers, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, and released former Braves and Angels righty Tommy Hanson, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Texas has been busy attempting to replace injured players all over the field. Jurickson Profar and Elvis Anrdus have had problems with their throwing arms this spring. Profar will miss 10 to 12 weeks, as will catcher Geovany Soto.
In the rotation, Texas is short handed due to an offseason accident that caused Derek Holland to undergo knee surgery, and righty Matt Harrison is dealing with a herniated disc in his back -- an issue he's been dealing with for the better part of the last two seasons.
Baker, 32, was granted his release by the Seattle Mariners earlier this week. In Texas, he'll join Martin Perez, Joe Saunders, Nick Martinez, and Robbie Ross in the mix for innings early in the season. Tanner Scheppers, who has never served as a regular starter in his professional career, has been named the team's Opening Day starter.
In 973 career innings, Baker has posted a 4.14 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
Rangers claim Donnie Murphy
It was originally reported as trade, but it appears as though the Rangers have simply claimed infielder Donnie Murphy off of waivers from the Chicago Cubs, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
Murphy, 31, has played parts of eight different season for the Royals, Athletics, Marlins, and Cubs. He has appeared at second base, shortstop, and third base in his career, hitting .215/.280/.405 in 803 plate appearances.
Scouting Rickie Weeks
The Rangers are "among the teams" scouting Weeks, according to Grant. Milwaukee could use Scooter Gennett at second if they move Weeks. The 31-year-old second baseman is due $12 million in 2014 and has a vesting option for 2015 as well. The Rangers would likely require Milwaukee to absorb a significant portion, if not all, of his salary to complete a deal.
Weeks was an All Star as recently as 2011, but his production has dropped off considerably since -- bottoming out last season with a .209/.306/.357 batting line. His defensive output has been exceptionally bad over those two seasons as well. He's put up -45 DRS and a -17.6 UZR/150. Both marks were the worst in baseball among qualified second basemen.