The Rangers signed left-handed relief pitcher Joe Beimel to a major-league contract Friday.
The non-guaranteed contract is worth $1.5 million if he makes the big-league roster. It also includes an incentives package.
Beimel, 37, was 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 56 appearances for the Mariners in 2014. Left-handers hit .188 against him. He’s expected to contend for a left-handed specialist role in the Rangers’ bullpen, which is thin on lefties.
Beimel was drafted by the Rangers in 1996 but did not sign. He was in the Rangers spring training camp in 2012. He was released in late March and had Tommy John surgery in May 2012. He returned in 2013, making 30 appearances for the Braves’ Triple A club.
The Rangers paid for Beimel’s MRI and Tommy John surgery in 2012 although they weren’t obligated.
“I felt I needed to come back and pay for my surgery in 2012 and give them their money’s worth,” Beimel joked Friday.
Reuniting with Jeff Banister, who Beimel first met in 1998 in the Pirates minor league system. Later, Banister was his bullpen catcher in the big leagues.
Several teams needed a left-handed reliever, Beimel said, but for all those reasons returning to the Rangers was most attractive.
“It was just a class act,” he said of the Rangers paying for his surgery. “They just didn’t make a big deal about it. They just took care of it. I thought that was pretty cool.”
This is a situation where I feel like they’re going to be pretty competitive this year as long as everyone is healthy and I thought I could help with that in the bullpen.
Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland are in the Rangers lineups for Sunday’s split squad games. Moreland, who is recovering from ankle surgery last summer, is batting third and playing first agaisnt the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz. Andrus (sore left knee) is batting second and playing shortstop against the Indians in Surprise. It will be the first spring game for both.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760