Rangers sign Gimenez, non-tender Tepesch, Jones

Rangers sign Gimenez, non-tender Tepesch, Jones

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers spent Wednesday pursuing a trade for a backup catcher and then ended up signing Chris Gimenez to a 2016 contract. The Rangers made the announcement just before the 10:59 p.m. CT Wednesday non-tender deadline.

The Rangers also announced they have non-tendered pitcher Nick Tepesch and outfielder James Jones, making them free agents. The Rangers hope to re-sign both to Minor League contracts.

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Gimenez, who was eligible for salary arbitration, agreed to a split contract worth $975,000 if he is on the Major League roster. As of now, Gimenez is still the Rangers' backup catcher behind Robinson Chirinos, although the team is expected to pursue catching depth. Gimenez spent the last two months of the 2015 season with the Rangers and hit .255 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in 36 games.

Jones was acquired last month from the Mariners along with pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen and utility player Patrick Kivlehan for outfielder Leonys Martin and pitcher Anthony Bass. Jones, a left-handed hitter who was supposed to give the Rangers depth in center field, has less than a year of service time, meaning he wasn't close to being eligible for arbitration and a big raise.

Tepesch did not pitch in 2015 while dealing with nerve irritation in his right arm. He ended up having surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which entailed removing a rib bone that was causing the irritation. He is expected to begin a throwing program in mid-December and be ready for Spring Training. Tepesch made 39 starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers in 2013-14, going 9-17 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.

The Rangers have tendered contracts to all other players and have 37 on their 40-man roster.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.