The Texas Rangers have made a habit in recent years of picking guys up at little cost with the possibility of them being very good — usually guys fresh off a big injury.
They did it again on Monday when they signed former Oakland A's starting pitcher A.J. Griffin to a one-year, non-roster deal with an invite to spring training. These types of moves are no risk and of very minimal cost.
In the deal, the Rangers are getting a guy who's been an established big-league starter before and one who is still young with a lot of upside. Griffin had Tommy John surgery in spring training of 2014 and then was rehabbing this past season when he was shut down with shoulder soreness. Given the the fact the A's were never in contention this year, he never pitched.
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Soon to be 28 years old, the A's released Griffin last month, and now the Rangers are swooping in.
In 2013, Griffin went 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 200 innings of work with 171 strikeouts, and that was a year after he went 7-1 for Oakland with a 3.06 ERA, so the dude has pitched very well in the majors and likely still has that in him somewhere.
So, once again, if Griffin never does anything for the Rangers, it's no loss. But, if he can pitch like he has before, he'll compete for a rotation spot and give the Rangers another right-handed pitcher to add to their lefty-heavy rotation.