Rangers sign RHP Tom Wilhelmsen to 2016 contract; sign INF Pedro Ciriaco to minor league contract

Ciriaco receives invitation to major league spring training

The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen on a one-year contract for the 2016 season. No further terms were disclosed. The Rangers have also signed infielder Pedro Ciriaco (pronounced ser-REE-ah-koh) to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
 
Wilhelmsen had been eligible for salary arbitration. With this agreement, the Rangers now have six remaining players eligible for salary arbitration: catcher Robinson Chirinos, left-handed pitcher Jake Diekman, first baseman Mitch Moreland, infielder Jurickson Profar, and right-handed pitchers Tanner Scheppers and Shawn Tolleson.
 
Wilhelmsen was acquired in a November 16 trade with the Mariners after posting a 2-2 record with 13 saves and a 3.19 ERA (22 ER/62.0 IP) over 53 appearances last season.
 
Ciriaco, 30, spent the final five months of last season with the Braves, batting .261 (37-142) with a home run and 15 RBI over a career-high 84 games. The right-handed batter made starts at all four infield positions in 2015 and has at least 25 major league starts at each of third base (51), shortstop (49), and second base (25). The Dominican native was originally signed by Arizona in 2003 and is a career .268 hitter over 272 big league games with Pittsburgh (2010-11), Boston (2012-13), San Diego (2013), Kansas City (2013-14), and Atlanta (2015).
 
OTHER NOTES: Former Rangers pitching coach Mark Connor is returning for a fifth season in his role as a special assistant in player development…minor league right-handed pitcher Kohsuke Tomita has been released…the Rangers have hired Ben Baroody to work in baseball operations, assisting Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg…Baroody has worked the past seven years at Major League Baseball, most recently serving as Senior Director, Baseball Development & Urban Youth Academies.