Rangers sign lefty Joe Saunders to major-league deal

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Veteran Joe Saunders in now in Texas's rotation mix. (USATSI)
Veteran Joe Saunders in now in Texas's rotation mix. (USATSI)

MORE: Spring Training | FA tracker: position players | FA tracker: pitchers

The Rangers have signed free agent lefty Joe Saunders to a guaranteed major-league contract. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman confirms the original report of Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. After a recent injuries to Derek Holland and Matt Harrison, the Rangers are in need of rotation depth, at least to start the season, and Saunders adds another arm to the mix.

Saunders, 32, is coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 5.26 ERA (70 ERA+) and 1.75 K/BB ratio in 183 innings for the Mariners. For his career, Saunders owns an ERA+ of 97 across parts of nine MLB seasons. In 2008, he made the All-Star team as a member of the Angels.

For the time being, Saunders figures to bump Colby Lewis from the rotation. Lewis, a spring NRI, is coming off August hip surgery and hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2012.

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