|The Rangers added righthanded relievers Mike Adams and Koji Uehara at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Texas added a lefty complement a month later, acquiring the Orioles' Mike Gonzalez at the expense of Triple-A closer Pedro Strop.
Gonzalez will be eligible for the Rangers' postseason roster if the club's 3 1/2 game advantage on the Angels in the American League West holds. A Corpus Christi native, he signed on to be Baltimore's closer in 2010, but injuries and inconsistency thwarted that plan. At the time of the trade, Gonzalez had not been scored upon in his last 13 appearances (15 strikeouts, one walk, five hits in 12 1/3 innings), and he's tough on lefthanded batters. They hit .211/.253/.322 in 90 at-bats this season, which is in line with career norms.
|Pedro Strop, rhp
Born: June 13, 1985 in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.
Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 175. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Rockies, Jan. 25, 2002 ... Released by Rockies, Sept. 19, 2008 ... Signed by Rangers, Nov. 7, 2008.
|Strop has appeared in 33 games for the Rangers during the past three
seasons, burning through all three of his option years. That means the
Orioles cannot send Strop to the minors in 2012 without exposing him to
waivers. A converted infielder, he has plus arm strength that allows him
to fire 94-97 mph heat and a tilting power slider in the mid-80s. Strop
throws a splitter as his changeup, though he had trouble retiring
Triple-A lefties this season. They hit .368/.467/.461 in 90 plate
appearances. The Rangers praise Strop's athleticism and work ethic,
though he'll need to repeat his delivery more consistently to sharpen
his command enough to pitch in the late innings.
|Mike Gonzalez, lhp
Age: 33. Remaining Commitment: Approximately $1 million, then eligible for free agency following the season (signed 2-year, $12 million deal for 2010-11).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.