Rangers Officially Sign LHP Joe Saunders

SURPRISE (CBSDFW.COM) — The Texas Rangers have a number of injury concerns in their starting rotation heading into the season. They’re hoping a former foe can help.

The team officially announced the signing of LHP Joe Saunders to a major league contract on Wednesday. The club designated outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Saunders, 32, begin his career with the Los Angeles Angels, where he played six seasons and compiled 115 starts.

The lefty also pitched with Arizona and Baltimore, before signing a free agent deal with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2013 season. The Mariners declined an $8.3 million option on Saunders, instead paying $900,000 to void the second season of his contract.

Saunders went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA in 32 starts (183 innings) last season, including two complete games.

For his career, Saunders has appeared in 221 games (all starts), going 89-81 with a 4.30 ERA.

Saunders opposed Yu Darvish in the 2012 Wild Card game, which the Orioles won 5-1. Saunders went 5.2 innings, allowing one earned run in the win.

Castellanos was claimed on waivers from Boston on Dec. 23. Texas has 10 days to trade, release, or outright him to the minor leagues.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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