Geovany Soto's time on the free-agent market has come to an end after a nail-biting two days.
The Texas Rangers non-tendered the 29-year-old catcher a few nights ago to avoid going into arbitration and inevitably overpaying him. But as they had planned all along, the Rangers came back and signed Soto to a one-year deal.
From the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant:
Geovany Soto has agreed to a one-year contract with the Rangers, pending a physical.— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) December 3, 2012
UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 3 at 6:50 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
Geovany Soto passed a physical, clearing the last hurdle, thereby clearing the last hurdle to make his deal with the Rangers official.
The Forth Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson reported the news, and provided details about Soto's contract.
Geovany Soto deal is official after he passes his physical. One year, $2.75 million with $250k in incentives.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) December 3, 2012
Soto will try to help Texas reach the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season in 2013.
---End of Update---
This probably isn't a move that will make First Take in the morning, but it's one the Rangers likely made for depth as Mike Napoli is also a free agent and the current catcher market is extremely thin, especially after Russell Martin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Soto's stats aren't going to blow your socks off, unless your socks tend to get blown off by underwhelming stats.
After coming over at the trade deadline last season, he hit .196 and slugged .338 for the Rangers while knocking out five home runs and driving in 25 in 47 games.
That's not much different than what he had been doing with the Chicago Cubs: .199/.284/.347 with six home runs in 2012 and .228/.310/.411 with 17 home runs in 2011.
While those aren't pretty numbers, the former Rookie of the Year has proven in the past that he has the ability to hit for average, as he finished at .285 in 2008 and .280 in 2010.
Even if he never gets back to that range, Soto, who is averaging 22 home runs per 162 games throughout his career, has the ability to provide a little extra pop out of a weak hitting position.