McClung, a 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher, is expected to come in as a starter. He turns 30 in February and did not pitch in the major leagues in 2010. He was brought into camp by the Florida Marlins but was released before spring training ended last season. McClung spent part of his season away from baseball coaching a girls high school team in St. Petersburg, Fla., but still wanted another opportunity to pitch.
McClung last pitched in the majors in 2009 for the Brewers, going 3-3 with a 4.94 ERA in 62 innings, most of it in relief. He pitched for Milwaukee for three seasons and with the Tampa Bay Rays for three seasons before that.
The Rangers haven’t hesitated in recent years to bring in pitchers with something to prove, either after an injury or a mediocre season, to see if they can show enough to make the club or add depth to the team in the minors.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels knows from experience that a team always needs additional starters ready to jump in should injury or lack of performance become an issue. Two starters that began the season in the rotation -- Opening Day starter Scott Feldman and free agent Rich Harden -- were not on the postseason roster for the Rangers in 2010.
Chavez, 32, who was with the Rangers last season but played in just eight games in late June and early July, is returning from right knee surgery performed in July 2009. He is currently playing outfield in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has played all three outfield positions during his major league career. His last action was in Seattle, where he was injured in a collision with Yuniesky Betancourt on June 19, 2009, tearing his ACL.
Barden, a 29-year-old infielder, was in the Florida organization in 2010 and batted .179 in 35 major league games. He spent most of the season in Triple-A New Orleans and hit .353 with three homers, 14 doubles and 23 RBIs.