This is the third year that the local BBWAA chapter has presented the award to a player who demonstrates significant improvement over the previous season or seasons. It is named in memory of Richard Durrett, who covered the Rangers for over a decade for the Dallas Morning News and ESPN Radio before his sudden passing on June 17, 2014, at the age of 38.
Andrus is coming off his best season, finishing with a career-high .302 average, eight home runs and 69 RBIs. He had 24 stolen bases, marking the eighth straight season he has finished with 20-plus steals.
• The Rangers have signed catcher Steven Lerud to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. He is entering his 15th professional season, but has played in just nine games at the Major League level with the Phillies in 2012-13. He was originally drafted by the Pirates in 2003, when Rangers manager Jeff Banister was their Minor League field coordinator.
• The Rangers have signed right-handed reliever Jaye Chapman to a Minor League contract. Chapman is entering his 12th season in professional baseball and pitched in 14 games for the Cubs in 2012, posting a 3.75 ERA. He pitched in the Brewers' and Rays' farm systems last year and was 9-3 with a 4.02 ERA and 19 saves.
• The fifth annual Kings of the Diamond Dinner will feature Terry Francona, the reigning American League Manager of the Year, and Nolan Ryan, baseball's all-time strikeout leader, Ryan Sanders Baseball officials announced on Thursday. The Kings of the Diamond Dinner is March 16 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk in San Antonio. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a cocktail hour followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The event will benefit HeartGift, the Miracle League of San Antonio and the Nolan Ryan Foundation. The dinner precedes the Rangers' two-game exhibition series against the Indians in San Antonio on March 17-18.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.