Dillon Gee grew up dreaming of playing for the Texas Rangers.
He grew up in Cleburne and still makes his off-season home in Aledo. The right-hander, who the Rangers signed to a minor league deal on Tuesday, had thoracic outlet surgery in October but expects to be healthy by the start of spring training a month from now.
He hopes to revive his career with the hometown team.
“I feel fantastic,” said Gee, who turns 31 April 28. “I bounced back great from [surgery] and look forward to competing in spring training and try to get on this team.”
After six seasons with the New York Mets, Gee signed with the Royals in December 2015. He went 8-9 with a 4.68 ERA in 33 games (14 starts) in 2016. His season was cut short after a blood clot scare forced him out of a game and into the hospital in Detroit.
“By all accounts he appears to be on the track to come back and have this injury behind him,” Daniels said. “He’s had some success in the big leagues. Good makeup guy. Looking forward to bringing him into camp and see where he’s at.”
The Rangers tried signing Gee in the past. Daniels said Kip Fagg, the Rangers’ director of amateur scouting, was rehabbing a knee surgery at TMI Sports Medicine, Dr. Keith Meister’s clinic, with Gee, who was working out there.
“Kip actually did some scouting on the trainers able and struck up a relationship with Dillon and got a sense of where he was at,” Daniels said.
Gee grew up idolizing Rangers players, especially Nolan Ryan. His parents even brought him to Ryan’s seventh no-hitter, May 1, 1991. Gee had just turned 5.
“I’ve always dreamed about playing for this organization,” he said.