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Nate Robertson to sign minor league contract with Rangers

Jan 21, 2013, 10:22 PM EDT

Nate Robertson Getty Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Rangers are set to sign left-hander Nate Robertson to a minor league contract. He will get an invite to spring training, where he’s expected to compete for a bullpen job.

Robertson, who averaged 31 starts with the Tigers from 2004-2008, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2010 with the Phillies and Marlins. Now 35 years old, he posted an ugly 8.07 ERA and 20/8 K/BB ratio over 29 innings last season at the Triple-A level between the Cubs and Blue Jays. He also had a brief stint with the independent Wichita Wingnuts.

Robbie Ross may get a chance at a rotation spot if the Rangers don’t add another starter prior to spring training, so there could be an opening for a left-handed reliever. However, Robertson is a long shot candidate.

  1. dan1111 - Jan 22, 2013 at 1:41 AM

    It’s amazing he is even getting a chance. He was never that good to begin with, only posting one above-average season ever. He hasn’t been at all useful since 2007. While his AAA stats last year were over a small sample size, he also had a 7.14 ERA in 18 minor league starts in 2011.

    This seems like a case of severely over-valuing Robertson’s previous experience in the majors. Robertson may be a “proven” major-leaguer, but he has also proven over the last five years that he can no longer pitch at that level. Isn’t there some career AAA pitcher who can get a shot instead?

    • dan1111 - Jan 22, 2013 at 2:12 AM

      Maybe this came off as too negative on Robertson. I didn’t intend that; he was obviously very talented to even make it to the majors. What bothers me is the trend of giving marginal major-leaguers chance after chance, while plenty of equally talented players toil away in the minors for their entire careers.

  2. darthicarus - Jan 22, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    Best of luck to Nate, hopefully he brings his rally gum with him.

  3. papacrick - Jan 22, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    This makes the Tiger’s “Designate Robertson” blog relevant again

  4. mcs7584 - Jan 22, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    It should be noted that his stint in Wichita might have been because he has an ownership stake in the team and his brother is the general manager.

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