Rangers sign RHP Ross Ohlendorf to Minor League contract with invitation to Major League Spring Training

Club also announces six players on minor league rosters invited to big league camp this spring; RHP Gonzalez German sent to Chicago Cubs on waiver claim

Arlington, Texas - The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Additionally, the club has extended invitations for this year's major league spring training camp to six players in the Rangers farm system: right-handed pitchers Alec Asher, Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez, and Keone Kela; catcher Pat Cantwell; third baseman Joey Gallo; and outfielder Jared Hoying.

Ohlendorf, 32, has spent the past two seasons in the Nationals organization, but missed most of the 2014 campaign with a lingering back injury sustained in spring training. He spent the year on Washington's 60-day disabled list with a right lumbar strain. He went 5-5 with a 4.80 ERA (8 ER/15.0 IP) over 5 starts on rehabilitation assignment with 3 Nats affiliates, including an attempted rehab stint in May that was cut short.  

Before last year's injury, Ohlendorf had pitched in the majors every year from 2007-13, posting a career 22-33 record with a 4.88 ERA over 124 games/80 starts with New York-AL (2007-08), Pittsburgh (2008-11), San Diego (2012), and Washington (2013). He was born in Austin, where he graduated from St. Stephens Episcopal School. He was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 4th round of the 2004 June draft out of Princeton University.

Asher, 23, was a mid-season All-Star at Frisco (AA) last season, ranking among the league leaders in WHIP (2nd, 1.11), wins (T3rd, 11), innings (4th, 154.0), and strikeouts (5th, 122). The Florida native was 11-11 with a 3.80 ERA (65 ER/154.0 IP) in 28 starts with the RoughRiders. Cantwell, 24, posted career highs in nearly every offensive category with Frisco in 2014, batting .268 (74-276) with 15 doubles, a home run, and 33 RBI in 76 games. The Stony Brook product was recently named the best defensive catcher in the Texas farm system by Baseball America.  

Gallo, 21, was named the organization's 2014 Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year after batting .271 (119-439) with 42 home runs and 106 RBI in 126 games with Myrtle Beach (A+) and Frisco. The Las Vegas native is the first minor league player to post consecutive 40-home run campaigns since Ron Kittle in 1981-82. Gonzalez, who turned 23 on January 15, combined to go 12-6 with a 2.66 ERA (41 ER/138.2 IP) in 26 games/25 starts with Myrtle Beach and Frisco, earning Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors. The Oral Roberts product was tabbed as the 6th-best prospect in the organization by Baseball America this offseason.

Hoying, 25, batted .271 (138-509) with a career-best 26 home runs and 78 RBI in 135 games with Round Rock (AAA) last season. The University of Toledo product was selected in the 10th round of the 2010 June draft. Kela, 21, averaged 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings with Myrtle Beach and Frisco in 2014, going 2-2 with a 2.02 ERA (11 ER/49.0 IP) and 68 strikeouts in 44 relief appearances. The right-hander has whiffed 31.0% (135 of 435) of the batters he has faced in three professional seasons.

With today's additions, the Rangers' spring roster now stands at 58 players: a full 40-man roster plus 18 non-roster invitees to camp.

GERMEN SENT TO CUBS ON WAIVER CLAIM: The Rangers sent right-handed pitcher Gonzalez Germen to the Chicago Cubs today after he was claimed on waivers. Germen was designated for assignment by Texas on Wednesday when the Rangers acquired catcher Carlos Corporan. He was received by Texas from the New York Yankees in a Tuesday waiver claim. Germen was also designated for assignment by the New York Mets on December 15 and by the Yankees on January 13. He had no record and a 4.75 ERA (16 ER/30.1 IP) in 25 relief appearances for the Mets last season.