Andres Blanco has been told by the Rangers that he is no longer in their plans as an infielder.
Does that mean Blanco is on the way out of the organization?
Not quite. Blanco has been asked to learn to play the outfield and catcher's position in the Venezuelan winter leagues in an attempt to land a reserve role in that capacity, as BeisbolVenezolano.net reports (translation by Rotoworld).
Blanco spent three years both down on the farm and in the bigs with the Royals, debuting as a 20-year-old in 2004. He then saw no time in the bigs from 2006-07, spending the latter year with the Cubs. He earned a bench spot in Chicago for the 2009 season, hitting .252/.303/.341 in 138 plate appearances. However, he was sent to the Rangers just before spring training after he did not claim a spot on the Cubs' bench.
For Texas, he had 185 PA and slashed .277/.330/.349, playing 40 games at second, 16 at short and nine at third. Blanco was less than impressive defensively, prompting the switch to the outfield and catcher. While Blanco should be able to transition to an outfield role well enough, asking him to catch in a possible backup role seems like a major stretch. It's possible Texas may view him as a long-term bench outfielder and simply wants him to catch enough to fill the emergency role, which tends to go to the player with the most recent catching experience, even if decades ago.
-- Evan Brunell
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