The Rangers have re-signed catchers Yohel Pozo and David Garcia to minor league contracts, tweets Rangers Executive VP of Communications John Blake. Additionally, Blake reports that minor league free agents Meibrys Viloria, a catcher, and right-handed pitcher Jesus Tinoco have been signed as well. All four players received invitations to spring training. The deals were announced Wednesday night before the lockout and transaction freeze.
Pozo is the highest-profile member of the bunch after seeing 21 games of action with Texas last season. He, along with Garcia, were non-tender casualties Wednesday so Texas could make room for its bevy of recent free agent signings. The Rangers will be happy to have the 24-year-old Pozo back after he posted a uniquely incredible season at Triple-A Round Rock. In 77 games the catcher reached base via walk just seven times (2.2% walk rate) but struck out a stingy 42 times (13% strikeout rate). Contact-oriented approaches are seldom this extreme, but Pozo made it work as he slashed .337/.352/.622 with 23 home runs before his Major League promotion.
The 21-year-old Garcia returns to Texas after posting a .647 OPS at the High-A level last season. That tepid showing notwithstanding, the Rangers organization clearly holds the young catcher in high regard. This was evidenced last year, as the team protected him from the Rule 5 draft despite never playing a game above the Low-A level.
Viloria joins a new organization after spending his professional career up to this point with the Royals organization. The 24-year-old catcher saw limited action on major league Royals squads from 2018-2020 but was held in the upper minors this past season and produced a decent .752 OPS. Tinoco meanwhile has seen most of his action from the Rockies organization, most recently pitching 54 innings of 6.00 ERA ball at Triple-A.