Brigham excited to be back with Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Jacob Brigham is back in the Rangers' clubhouse 6 1/2 months after the club traded him to the Cubs for catcher Geovany Soto. Brigham had gone 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 21 starts at Double-A Frisco before the July 31 deal.

But he made just two starts for Double-A Tennessee in the Cubs organization before being shut down with a strained right forearm. He did not pitch after Aug. 7, and when the season was over, the Cubs traded him back to the Rangers for right-handed pitcher Barrett Loux and a player to be named later.

"It was crazy," Brigham said. "Initially I was sad when I was traded. I always dreamed of breaking in with the Rangers. But it was an opportunity, and at the end of the day, you just want to be in the big leagues. Getting traded back is a blessing in disguise. I'm excited to be back with coaches who know me and know what I need to work on, and playing with guys I've known my entire career."

Brigham heard about the trade right before Thanksgiving. The Cubs told him they needed to make the trade because of "roster issues." They did not tell him it was because of his health.

"They didn't say that," Brigham said. "That was never said. Whether it was the case or not, I don't know."

Brigham, 25, was a sixth-round pick by the Rangers out of high school in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and comes into camp as a candidate for the bullpen. He said he is fully recovered and "100 percent healthy."