Rangers lose Simon in Rule 5 Draft
Team acquires two Minor League catchers to bolster position
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers passed in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft but lost pitcher Alfredo Simon to the Baltimore Orioles at the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning.The Orioles then traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations. The Rangers signed Simon to a Minor League contract earlier this offseason after he split the 2006 season between Fresno (Triple-A) and San Jose (Class A) in the San Francisco Giants organization. He started the season at Fresno, going 0-6 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 starts for the Grizzlies. He was placed on the disabled list from May 29-July 4 with right elbow tendinitis and finished out the season with San Jose. In 18 appearances with San Jose, including seven starts, he went 2-4 with a 6.44 ERA. "It doesn't surprise me in a year where the Rule 5 Draft is more limited that people would take a chance on a guy with a big arm," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "This is a good opportunity for him." The Rangers used the Minor League phase to address their catching situation at the Double-A level. Texas acquired catcher Solomon Manriquez from Colorado for cash considerations after the Rockies selected him from the Washington Nationals, and the Rangers also took catcher Brian Munhall from the San Francisco Giants. Both players are candidates to catch at Double-A Frisco. The Rangers are deep in catching talent in their lower Minor Leagues, but three of them are coming back from surgery.
Taylor Teagarden will likely start at Class A Bakersfield, and Chad Tracy, who had a big year at Class A short-season Spokane, will likely start at Class A Clinton. Cristian Guzman and Manny Pena, both coming off arm surgery, are in throwing programs and will compete for a job at Clinton. Otherwise, they'll be on the short-season teams."This allows them to take their time," said John Lombardo, the Rangers' director of Minor League operations. "The guys will be given an opportunity to compete for a job in camp, but this gives us some protection."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.