Texas Rangers

Explaining a flurry of roster moves that appears to leave Rangers $250,000 in the red

Here’s a baseball-related math word problem: The Texas Rangers on Thursday acquired catcher Welington Castillo from the Chicago White Sox and $250,000 in international bonus money.

The Rangers plan to buy out the $8 million option on Castillo, paying him $500,000.

How is it that the Rangers think this is a good deal when it appears they are down $250,000 and they had to send minor-leaguer Jonah McReynolds to the White Sox?

It’s a simple answer to a team that places a premium on amateur talent, as the Rangers do. They have uncovered some players they want to add to the system and believe those players are worth what appears to be a lopsided transaction.

The $500,000 being spent on Castillo’s buyout can’t be spent on international players. The Rangers were low on international money, and needed more from the White Sox to continue adding players.

The Rangers already signed one of the best players available in the current international class, outfielder Bayron Lora for $3.9 million. Some believe shortstop Maximo Acosta, who signed with the Rangers for $1.65 million, is a better prospect.

Of course, they are years away from playing in the major leagues.

Castillo could have played for the Rangers in 2020 at a position where they will seek out more offense this off-season, but they never intended on paying him $8 million. The Rangers are also planning to decline options on relievers Shawn Kelley ($275,000) and Nate Jones ($1.25 million).

Jones was acquired July 31 from the White Sox, again for international slot money that was ear-marked for Lora. Jones was out for for the season, but the Rangers continued his rehab and have evaluated him as a possible option for 2020.

The Rangers will also touch base with outfielder Hunter Pence, who became a free agent. So did infielder Logan Forsythe and reliever Edinson Volquez, who gave some indication that he might reconsider his decision to retire.

The Rangers gained two more spots on the 40-man roster by outright assigning outfielder Zack Granite and left-hander Jesse Biddle to Triple A Nashville. There are 37 players on the 40, and four players (Joey Gallo, Jesse Chavez, Taylor Hearn and Jones) on the 60-day injured list.

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After 12 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.