Rangers make four roster moves

The Texas Rangers made four roster moves on Wednesday, dropping two players from the 40-man roster and signing two more to minor league contracts. Lone Star Dugout runs down the moves.

The Texas Rangers made four roster moves on Wednesday afternoon, dropping two players from their 40-man roster and signing two other players to minor league contracts.

Left-hander Clay Rapada and infielder Esteban German were outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City and off the club's 40-man roster. Because both players had already cleared waivers, they will stay in the Rangers' organization.

• Rapada, who was claimed off waivers from the Tigers less than two weeks ago, still figures to vie for the Rangers' second left-handed relief spot behind C.J. Wilson. The 28-year-old spent most of his 2009 campaign with Triple-A Toledo of the Detroit organization, where he was 4-2 with five saves and a 2.76 ERA in 45.2 innings. The reliever was tough on his fellow southpaw hitters, as they batted just .210 against him with 23 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.

A product of Virginia State University, Rapada has 33 games and 27.1 innings of Major League experience between three seasons with the Tigers and Chicago Cubs. During that span, he has surrendered 15 runs [4.94 ERA] on 26 hits, walking 18 and striking out 21.

Rapada figures to compete with Ben Snyder and Zach Phillips for the final left-handed relief spot in Spring Training.

• The 31-year-old German was added to the Rangers' active roster late in the season, and he remained there until Wednesday afternoon. The utility infielder put together an All-Star season with OKC in 2009, batting .319 with 15 doubles, five triples, four homers and 59 runs batted in. Additionally, he walked more than he struck out [65 versus 63] and swiped 35 bases in 44 attempts.

German played well in his late-season stint with the Rangers, going 14-for-46 [.304] at the plate with four doubles. In 385 career Major League games over eight different seasons, German has compiled a .278 batting average while playing mostly in a reserve utility role.

Like Rapada, German leaves the 40-man roster, but he still received an invitation to Major League Spring Training, where he should be in competition for a utility job. The Dominican Republic native has the ability to play second base, third base, shortstop, and left field.

Texas also signed a pair of players–pitcher Geoff Geary and infielder Ray Olmedo–to minor league contracts.

• A seven-year big league veteran, Geary has compiled a career 3.92 earned-run average with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros. After a dreadful start to the season with Houston in 2009, the 33-year-old was sent to Triple-A Round Rock, where he logged a 4.95 ERA in 40 innings of work.

Geary was one of the National League's better relievers as recently as 2008, when he had a 2.53 ERA in 64 relief innings for Houston. In that season, Geary gave up just 45 hits while walking 28 and striking out 45.

• Olmedo will likely challenge Esteban German–and potentially a few other players–for the Rangers' utility infield job. The 28-year-old switch-hitter has appeared in parts of five Major League seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays.

The Venezuela native spent the entire 2008 and 2009 seasons at the Triple-A level. This past summer, Olmedo played with the Durham Bulls, Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. There, Olmedo hit .250 with 13 doubles, two triples, and six home runs in 115 games.

Olmedo is currently playing for Margarita of the Venezuelan Winter League, where he is 26-for-126 [.206] with six doubles and a homer over 40 games.

Both Geary and Olmedo were given invitations to Spring Training.

So far this offseason, the Rangers have extended non-roster Spring Training invitations to six players. Right-hander Willie Eyre and catcher Kevin Richardson were the two previous invites.

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