Tobin Shows Explosive Stuff When Healthy
ARLINGTON — The Rangers arrived at the Winter Meetings with 39 spots taken on their 40-man roster, and departed Disney's Swan and Dolphin Resort with it all filled up.
But the addition wasn't Cliff Lee or Zack Greinke or Vladimir Guerrero. It was Mason Tobin, who hasn't pitched since 2009 or above Class A. But the Rangers liked him enough to ask the Cubs to select him for them in the Rule 5 draft.
The righthanded Tobin, who was plucked from the Angels' Triple A roster must stick on the Rangers' 25-man roster for the duration of the 2011 season or be offered back to the Angels for $25,000. The Cubs got $50,000 from the Rangers to cover the fee for picks in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
Tobin last pitched in April 2009 for high Class A Rancho Cucamonga before having Tommy John surgery. He had a shoulder injury in 2008.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said that Tobin can still reach the mid-90s from a three-quarters arm slot, and he also has a sharp breaking pitch.
"A number of our scouts have some history with him in the Northwest, and really like the upside," Daniels said of Tobin, who was a 16th-round selection in the 2007 draft as a starting pitcher out of Everett (Wash.) CC. "He'll be competing for the club as a reliever."
The Rangers did not lose any players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft.
• Despite parting with nine prospects in four trades over the summer, the Rangers said they had still enough minor-league depth to create an attractive package in a trade for a big-league star. "It's not like the last couple years," Daniels said. "(A trade) is not our first choice, but it's definitely a viable option."
• The Rangers also added two players during the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft—catcher Jesse Mier (from the Dodgers) and lefthander Starling De La Rosa (Royals).