Rangers take sidearm reliever in Rule-5 draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With trade talk swirling around the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center involving Michael Young and chatter about Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke, the Texas Rangers still managed to add to their bullpen possibilities in the Rule-5 draft. The draft is the unofficial end to the Winter Meetings each year and on Thursday the Rangers selected right-handed pitcher Coty Woods from the Colorado Rockies.

Woods, 24, struggled in Triple-A Colorado Springs after getting promoted during the 2012 season. He was 1-2 with a 7.40 ERA in 20 2/3 innings. He gave up 34 hits in those innings and had 13 strikeouts to 11 walks. But Woods pitched very well in Double-A during the first part of 2012, posting a 0.76 ERA in 35 2/3 innings with 34 strikeouts and eight walks.

Josh Boyd, Rangers' senior director of professional scouting, said the club was encouraged by Woods' Arizona Fall League performance. He was 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings (10 appearances) with two saves. He had nine strikeouts and four walks and a 0.97 WHIP.

"He's got a sidearm, slinging arm action that's very effective versus righties," Boyd said. "He throws three pitches and is 89 to 92 mph (on his fastball). He has a sweeping slider and the makings of a changeup that could help him against lefties. We're retooling our bullpen and this was an opportunity to address one of those needs."

The Rangers will pay $50,000 for Woods and he must stay on the club's active roster for the season to then be in the organization for good. If he's not on the active roster, the Rockies can buy him back for $25,000.

Texas lost Chris McGuiness, the Arizona Fall League MVP. He was taken by the Cleveland Indians. Tommy Mendonca was taken by Oakland in the Triple-A phase of the draft.