The Texas Rangers‘ season opener is less than 24 hours away. Even with Opening Day looming, they were still able to make one final flurry of moves. The main transaction that they made on Thursday afternoon was of the trade variety. According to Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, the Rangers have traded infielder Yonny Hernandez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Jeferson Espinal. Arizona immediately optioned Hernandez to Triple-A Reno. With an already crowded outfield, chances are that Espinal will start the season in MiLB for the Rangers. He should provide some nice insurance for them should someone land on the injured list. Meanwhile. Hernandez will be missed in Arlington. He was well liked by the players, coaches and fanbase. The Rangers’ trade of Hernandez must have come as a bit of a surprise to most people, considering it comes less than 24 hours before their opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Friday evening.
Hernandez was up in the major leagues for a cup of coffee last year. In 43 games with the Rangers, he hit .217 with no home runs and six runs driven in. He also logged 31 base hits, and scored 15 runs. The good news is that he is young. He is only 23 years old, and he has a budding career ahead of him. The news that the Rangers traded him is merely a stepping stone, albeit a big one. Perhaps he will feel reinvigorated in Arizona’s system. He should serve them well as they are in a rebuild. The Rangers, in the meantime are getting an outfielder who has yet to play above rookie ball, in Espinal. He is only 19 years old, but he shows a lot of promise. Last year in 62 games with two rookie-level teams, he hit .303 with four homers, and 44 RBI. It will be fun to see his progression through the Rangers’ system.
Other Roster Moves
The Rangers’ trade of Hernandez was just one of several organizational transitions on Thursday. Righties Matt Bush, Greg Holland, and infielder Charlie Culberson each had their contracts selected from Triple-A Round Rock. Right-hander Garrett Richards was placed on the 10-day IL (retroactive to April 4th) with a finger blister. Jose Leclerc was placed on the 60-day IL as he is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and infielder Sherten Apostel was designated for assignment. Time will tell if the Rangers’ trade of Yonny Hernandez is the final piece for Opening Day.
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