Rangers sign Conor Jackson, Joe Beimel

The Texas Rangers announced Monday that they have signed minor league deals with 1B/OF Conor Jackson and LHP Joe Beimel. Both have been invited to spring training.

That puts 58 players on the spring roster and includes 39 players on the 40-man roster and 19 non-roster invitees.

This is some more information from the Rangers' release:

Beimel (pronounced BYE-muhl), 34, went 1-1 with a 5.33 ERA (15 ER/25.1 IP) over 35 relief appearances with Pittsburgh last season. He was a non-roster invite to Pirates camp last spring and had his contract purchased by the big league club on April 15. He spent over a month-and-a-half on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation from May 28-July 14. He was designated for assignment on August 23 and released on August 30.

Over the last 6 seasons from 2006-11, Beimel has the fourth-most appearances among major league left-handers (393) and the most pickoffs among all relief pitchers (17). He has held left-handed batters to a .262 average in his career, including a .241 (123-511) figure over the last 6 seasons from 2006-11. He posted a career-low 2.02 ERA with the Dodgers in 2008, when he did not allow a home run in 49.0 innings.

The Pennsylvania native was originally selected by Pittsburgh in the 18th round of the 1998 June draft out of that city’s Duquesne University. He had been drafted out of high school in the 26th round in 1996 by the Rangers, but did not sign. He has a career 24-32 record with a 4.21 ERA (275 ER/587.2 IP) over 567 games/23 starts with the Pirates (2001-03, 2011), Twins (2004), Rays (2005), Dodgers (2006-08), Nationals (2009), and Rockies (2009-10). He tossed 1.1 scoreless innings over 6 postseason appearances in back-to-back years with the Dodgers and Rockies in 2008-09.

Jackson, 29, combined to hit .244 with five homers, 17 doubles, and 43 RBI over 114 games last year with Oakland and Boston. He began the year with Oakland and was acquired by Boston on July 31 in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Jason Rice. He saw action at first base, right field, left field, and third base last season. Jackson had 5 pinch hits in 2011, 2nd-most in the American League.

Born in Austin, Jackson went to high school in California and was an All-American at the University of California. The 19th overall selection in the 2003 June draft by Arizona, he has a career .271 average over 658 major league games with the Diamondbacks (2005-10), Athletics (2010-11), and Red Sox (2011). He has nearly as many career walks (252) as strikeouts (291).

The bottom line: Both players have coming off disappointing seasons and looking to prove something. Jackson, a player the Rangers have had some interest in before, will compete for a bench spot and Beimel hopes to jump into the mix as a left-handed specialist.

For Beimel, that means also proving he's healthy after spending six weeks on the DL with elbow inflammation. Lefties have hit a career .262 against him since he broke into the league in 2001.

These signings give the Rangers some other options to look at and are both on minor league deals.