The Texas Rangers added three minor leaguers to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft and also announced they acquired right-handed reliever Shawn Tolleson on a waiver claim from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
Infielder Luis Sardinas and right-handers Ben Rowen and Lisalverto Bonilla were moved to the 40-man roster. The deadline to make such moves to protect players from the Rule 5 process was 11 p.m. Wednesday.
Sardinas, 20, is one of the Rangers’ top prospects and reached Double A Frisco last season. Rowen, 25, had a 0.69 ERA over 51 appearances between Frisco and Triple A Round Rock but has yet to pitch in the big leagues. Bonilla, 23, had a 4.79 ERA with stints at Frisco and Round Rock.
Players first signed at age 18 or younger must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Players signed at age 19 or older must be added within four seasons.
Teams pay $50,000 to select players in the Rule 5 draft, which is Dec. 12. If that player doesn’t stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, though, he must be offered back to his former team for $25,000.
Tolleson, meanwhile, joins the mix as a right-handed bullpen option for the Rangers. The 25-year-old, who pitched at Allen High School and Baylor, was with the Dodgers in each of the past two seasons. He had a 4.30 ERA over 40 appearances in 2012 and made just one big league appearance — and six overall — last season as he underwent lower back surgery and dealt with a left hip injury.
But Tolleson has impressive minor league stats with a 1.34 ERA over 107 appearances.
The Rangers’ bullpen mix currently has Tanner Scheppers, Jason Frasor, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz as returners from the right side and Neal Cotts, Robbie Ross, Joseph Ortiz and Michael Kirkman as left-handed options.
The Rangers also announced that left-hander Edwar Cabrera cleared waivers and has been assigned outright to the minor leagues. The Rangers claimed Cabrera off waivers from the Rockies on Oct. 16.
With these moves, the Rangers have 38 players on their 40-man roster.