The Rangers announced Thursday the signings of RHP Fabio Castillo and catcher Chris Robinson to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.
Here's some information on both players from the club's release:
Castillo, 22, was not tendered a contract offer by Texas prior to Monday's 11 p.m. CST deadline, which made him a free agent, but he has re-signed with the Rangers. He went 3-6 with 9 saves and a 6.36 ERA (37 ER/52.1 IP) in 42 relief appearances with Frisco (AA) last season and has spent his entire career in the Texas organization since signing as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2005.
Robinson, 27, batted .316 with 15 doubles, one homer, and 29 RBI in 66 games for Iowa (AAA) in the Cubs organization in 2011, throwing out 19 of 52 (36.5 percent) attempted base stealers. Originally selected by Detroit in the third round of the 2005 June Draft out of the University of Illinois, he was acquired by Chicago in an Aug. 20, 2006, trade involving Neifi Perez. A London, Ont., native, he played for Canada in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and 2009 World Cup. He is still seeking his first action in the major leagues.
A few other Rangers notes as we await word on the Yu Darvish front:
* Darren Oliver was chosen as the 2011 Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award recipient. Oliver partnered with the Bob Jones Nature Center and the FW ISD After School Program for "Ollie's Greening Up," which is designed to promote environmental conservation.
More on the program, per the Rangers' release:
The program provides an outdoor citizen-science and art experience for middle school and high school students from underserved communities. The students explore conservation issues involving birds, butterflies and their habitats while also creatively recording their observations and reflections. Oliver has hosted events for the program throughout the year, including several holiday functions.
In addition, Oliver has participated with the Volunteer Center of North Texas in the Martin Luther King Day of Service for the past two years and has donated his time and financial assistance for Family Gateway, a Dallas-based organization whose mission is helping homeless families become self-sufficient.
* Oliver will receive the award at the 2012 Texas Rangers Dr. Pepper Awards Show on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Arlington Convention Center. A reminder: The show is now a theater-style seating event. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and fans attending can get a sneak peak at FanFest. Refreshments will be served and are included in the ticket price ($75 for reserved seating and $50 for general admission). You can call 972-RANGERS or go to http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/tex/ticketing/awards_show.jsp for more information.
* The club announced some minor league signings (these players will go to minor league camp in the spring): LHP Kyle Fernandes, RHP Derek Hankins, LHP Zach Jackson, RHP Doug Salinas and OF Orlando Sandoval.
From the club's release:
Hankins and Jackson both pitched in the Texas organization last season.
Fernandes has spent his entire career in the Boston organization since being selected in the 12th round of the 2005 June draft. He went 3-5 with a 3.73 ERA (26 ER/62.2 IP) in 35 relief appearances for Portland (AA) in 2011. Salinas, 23, has pitched in the Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati organizations, going 5-2, 4.47 (25 ER/50.1 IP) in 47 relief appearances for Bakersfield (Cincinnati High-A) in 2011.
Sandoval, 25, has been in the Colorado organization since signing as a non-drafted free agent in 2005. He spent last season at High-A Modesto.
* Also, congrats to Meghan and Matt Harrison on the birth of their first child, Addie Grace, on Wednesday night in North Carolina.