Had a bigger report planned today but we lost power for an hour this morning, so it’s not happening.  A couple notes for now:

Baseball America reports that Texas has signed 26-year-old lefthander Joe Torres, the 10th overall pick in the 2000 draft by the Angels, to a minor league contract.  It’s unclear whether he was extended an invite to big league spring training, but since the Rangers haven’t issued a press release, I doubt Torres got an official invite.

After six years in the Anaheim system, the first few of which he was thought of as the Angels’ top prospect (ahead of K-Rod, John Lackey, Scot Shields, Bobby Jenks, and others) before Tommy John surgery claimed his 2004 season, Torres signed with the White Sox as a six-year free agent, and he turned in two very good seasons for Chicago.  Last year, his first season at the AA level, he pitched in relief for Birmingham and posted a 2.68 ERA in 59 appearances, scattering a scant 29 hits (.164 opponents’ average, two home runs) with a sturdy 58 strikeouts, though he did issue 31 walks.  Not necessarily a left-handed specialist, Torres was more effective against righthanders (.146/.267/.233) than he was against lefthanders (.189/.337/.270).  Interesting chance to take.

Pittsburgh signed lefthander Daniel Haigwood.

BA also ranked prospects from this year’s Arizona Fall League season.  Justin Smoak was number nine, and Julio Borbon was number 13.

John Bannister was one of only two relief pitchers in the entire AFL to land a spot on the league’s Top Prospects Team.  

Jon Daniels says Texas, at the moment, is not actively involved with any Japanese free agents.

According to a local report, the Rangers voided the contract of 33rd-round pick Ben Petralli, son of Geno.  Ben, who had not yet made a pro appearance, apparently has a lingering elbow issue.

ESPN’s Keith Law said in a chat session yesterday that, without studying rosters, if he had to take someone in this coming Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, righthander Pedro Strop would be his first choice.

We’ll have to talk next time about the latest speculation on Gerald Laird’s future, with Detroit and Cincinnati apparently emerging as the most interested suitors for the Rangers catcher.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at

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