Rangers sign free-agent infielder who was Darvish teammate

Posted Friday, Dec. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Texas Rangers indeed have signed a Tanaka, though not the pitching prize of the winter market.

Kensuke Tanaka, a free-agent infielder and former teammate of Yu Darvish in Japan, and left-hander Ryan Feierabend signed minor-league deals Friday with the Rangers and were invited to spring training.

Tanaka, 32, played 15 games in 2013 with San Francisco but batted .329 (113 for 343) with Triple A Fresno. He also played nine games in the Venezuelan Winter League.

The Rangers continue to have interest in right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, but it isn’t certain if he will be posted by his team in Japan, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Feierabend, 28, went 7-7 with a 3.70 ERA at Double A Frisco and Triple A Round Rock last season.

— Jeff Wilson

Balfour deal collapses

The Baltimore Orioles won’t be closing a deal for All-Star closer Grant Balfour.

Days after reaching a preliminary agreement with the free agent pending a physical, the Orioles said Friday that they weren’t satisfied with the results of Balfour’s exam.

“This is a deal that’s not going to come together,” Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on a conference call.

Duquette declined to say what specifically concerned him about Balfour, who turns 36 later this month. Balfour had shoulder and elbow surgeries that kept him out of the majors in 2005 and 2006.

“The Orioles were disappointed we couldn’t complete a contract with Grant Balfour,” Duquette said.

Baltimore and Balfour agreed Tuesday to a $15 million, two-year contract that included $1 million in deferred payments, a deal dependent on the physical. Duquette said the team would not seek to restructure the agreement.

“We’re going to turn our attention elsewhere for now,” Duquette said.

The Orioles were hoping Balfour, who had 62 saves over the last two years for Oakland, would replace Jim Johnson. Baltimore traded Johnson, who had 101 saves in 2012 and 2013 to the Athletics on Dec. 2.

Briefly

•  Athletics: Signed first baseman Daric Barton to a one-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration with their longest-tenured player.

•  Twins: Agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract with catcher Kurt Suzuki, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

•  Orioles: Relief pitcher Troy Patton was suspended by Major League Baseball on Friday for the first 25 games of next season after a positive test for a banned amphetamine.

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