Sosa makes Rangers' 25-man roster

Updated: March 31, 2007, 11:21 PM ET
Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sammy Sosa made the Texas Rangers' 25-man roster for their opener Monday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

Sosa, out of baseball last season, is fifth in major league history with 588 homers. He will begin the season as the Rangers' designated hitter.

Left-hander Bruce Chen, 0-7 for Baltimore in 2006, also will open the season on the Texas roster as a long reliever, Rangers manager Ron Washington said following Saturday night's final exhibition game.

The Rangers purchased the contracts of Sosa, Chen, utility man Jerry Hairston Jr., outfielder Matt Kata, and right-hander Mike Wood.

Outfielder Marlon Byrd, right-hander Ezequiel Astacio and catcher Guillermo Quiroz were designated for assignment.

Right-hander Eric Gagne, recovering from back surgery but expected to take over as the closer early in the season, was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 28.

Catcher Miguel Ojeda was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma and right-hander Francisco Cruceta was outrighted to Oklahoma. Infielder Adam Fox was outrighted to Double-A Frisco.

Washington said his toughest duty was to inform Byrd, who played the last two seasons for the Washington Nationals, that he didn't make the Rangers' final 25. Kata beat out Byrd for the spot as a reserve outfielder.

"(Byrd) had a heck of a spring," Washington said. "It was hard to tell him he wasn't going to make the team. He played very well. It was also tough telling Ojeda."

There will be more moves involving the pitching staff when Gagne comes off the DL and when a spot is needed to activate No. 5 starter Jamey Wright, a non-roster invitee to spring training.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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