The Texas Rangers declined to extend a qualifying offer to right-hander Andrew Cashner, meaning the Rangers will not receive draft-pick compensation if he signs with another club as a free agent.
The one-year qualifying offer this year is worth $17.4 million, a figure the Rangers weren’t comfortable giving to Cashner even though he was their most consistent starter in 2017. There was the risk of the native Texan accepting it and limiting how much they could offer another free-agent starter.
“Andrew had a good year for us,” Daniels said. “It just came down to economics. Had he accepted, it wasn’t how we wanted to allocate our resources this winter, that much in this particular spot.”
Daniels said that the Rangers could spend that much money on a pitcher, but wouldn’t commit to it. Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are likely to fetch contracts worth more than $20 million annually as free agents this off-season.
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Also, the Rangers declined their 2018 options on right-hander Tony Barnette and slugger Mike Napoli, allowing them to become free agents, and officially exercised the option on starter Martin Perez.
Perez and fellow left-hander Cole Hamels are the only two starters guaranteed a rotation spot next season.
Additionally, righty Austin Bibens-Dirkx and catcher A.J. Jimenez are no longer on the 40-man roster after clearing outright waivers and being assigned to Triple A Round Rock. Their spots were taken by righty Chi Chi Gonzalez and infielder Hanser Alberto, who were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.
The Rangers have interest in re-signing Barnette and Bibens-Dirkx.
The Rangers announced that Don Wakamatsu will join the Rangers as bench coach, a move that pushes Steve Buechele to first-base coach, and that Dan Warthen will be the assistant pitching coach.
Wakamatsu leaves the same post with the Kansas City Royals the past three years to move closer to home and to rejoin the Rangers, with whom he served as bench coach from 2003-2006 and as third-base coach in 2007.
He and Rangers manager Jeff Banister live in the same neighborhood in Keller and have forged a relationship the past few years.
“We are adding two tremendous instructors and major league coaches with a wealth of experience,” Banister said. “This is a situation where I felt like we had a situation to add a quality bench coach, a quality coach, a guy with experience but also has street cred with all the players.”
Warthen was the New York Mets’ pitching coach the past 10 seasons and was Doug Brocail’s pitching coach in Detroit in 1999-2000. Buechele had been the bench coach since Banister’s first season in 2015.
Banister and Daniels spoke glowingly about Buechele and said the move should not be viewed as a demotion.
“We did not set out this winter to change bench coaches,” Daniels said. “It was specific circumstances with Don being available and being interested in coming here. Had this one particular candidate not come about, we would have gone down the path it initially looked like we were going down looking for a first-base coach.”