Colby Lewis, 2.0?
After pitching for six seasons in Japan, right-handed relief pitcher Tony Barnette signed with the Rangers on Tuesday. Barnette, 32, moved to a closer’s role for the Yakult Swallows and last year produced a team-record 41 saves and 1.29 ERA.
For now the Rangers’ closer remains Shawn Tolleson. But the addition of a proven closer like Barnette might give them some freedom to explore trade talks.
Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.
If Barnette works out as well as two other Japanese imports, it will be a steal of a signing by general manager Jon Daniels.
Lewis went to Japan to pitch in 2008-09, and returned to Arlington to be the franchise’s most consistent pitcher. He’s won 59 games in five years since returning, including a team-leading 17-9 record last year. And, of course, the Rangers also plucked their staff ace – Yu Darvish – from across the Pacific Ocean.
Barnette was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in 2006. After four years in the minors he went to Japan in 2010.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.