Nevin happy to be with Rangers
Slugger scheduled to make debut with new team Sunday
TORONTO -- Phil Nevin looked right at home as he relaxed on a sofa in the Rangers' clubhouse Saturday evening. Surrounded by new teammates after rising at 3 a.m. for a trip from southern California to Toronto, Nevin smiled at the thought of being 1-0.
Nevin didn't play Saturday, but he thoroughly enjoyed watching the Rangers' 3-2 win over the Blue Jays from the Texas dugout.
"I'm very excited about being part of this organization," Nevin said. "I was very lucky to play at home as long as I did. But it became a reality that it was probably time to move on. When I started looking at different options, this was a good fit. I'm excited to put on this uniform. "
Nevin, who will wear No. 25, is scheduled to make his Rangers' debut on Sunday as a designated hitter against Toronto left-hander Gustavo Chacin.
It has been a roller-coaster week for Nevin, who nixed a trade to Baltimore a few days before Texas came into the picture. By ultimately winding up with the Rangers, Nevin is closer to his southern California home and able to play home games in a hitter-friendly venue.
Since the Rangers are in the American League West and play often on the West Coast, there will be plenty of opportunities for Nevin's family to attend road games. And the Spring Training facility for the Rangers is just down the road from where the Padres used to train.
"The positives of staying in San Diego outweighed the positives of going to Baltimore," Nevin said. "I didn't have a choice with this one, but if there had been a choice, I definitely would have come. There were a lot of great relationships built in San Diego over the years. Now, I'm looking forward to building relationships with the Rangers."
In a tough hitter's park, Nevin had 26 homers and 105 RBIs for the Padres last year. He was on the disabled list with a strained oblique from June 26 through July 17 this year, but feels good now and is looking forward to providing balance for a Texas lineup which could use another productive hitter from the right side.
Nevin, 34, figures to have plenty of opportunities as a designated hitter with the Rangers, particularly when a lefty is on the mound. Coming from the National League, Nevin doesn't have experience in that role. But he's ready to do whatever it takes to make the adjustment.
"I'll talk to some people about it," Nevin said. "It's something I'm not used to, but it's nothing that will ever be an excuse. When you step into the batter's box, it's you against the pitcher. It doesn't matter if I played in the field.
"[Former Mariners star] Edgar Martinez is a guy I've known for a long time. If I had to call him about what goes into being a designated hitter, I could do that. He's a pretty good source on that subject."
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.