ARLINGTON -- Catcher Luis Martinez has been claimed on waivers by the Orioles. At the same time, the Rangers announced that catcher Eli Whiteside has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Round Rock.Whiteside will still be in big league camp this spring as a non-roster invitee. This marked the fourth time he was placed on waivers this offseason and the first time he cleared. He finished the season with the Giants and then was claimed off waivers in succession by the Yankees, Blue Jays and Rangers.
Olt to be honored as Rangers' top Minor Leaguer
ARLINGTON -- Infielder Mike Olt has been named the winner of the 2012 Tom Grieve Award as the Rangers' top Minor League player. He will be honored at the Dr Pepper Awards Show, which will be held next Friday at the Arlington Convention Center.The Rangers will also honor three other Minor League players. Cody Buckel will receive the Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year Award, outfielder Engel Beltre is the Defender of the Year and pitcher Ben Rowen is the Reliever of the Year. Olt played in 95 games at Double-A Frisco before being called up to the Rangers, hitting .288 with 28 home runs, 82 RBIs and a .579 slugging percentage. He was selected to play in the Texas League All-Star Game and the All-Star Futures Game. Buckel went 10-8 with a 2.49 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 144 innings over 26 games at Class A Myrtle Beach and Frisco. He was a three-time Carolina League Pitcher of the Week while with Myrtle Beach. He is currently ranked as the Rangers' fourth best prospect by MLB.com. Beltre spent the entire season at Frisco, where he had 12 assists and just one error in the outfield. He was selected to play in the Texas League All-Star Game and was on the league's postseason All-Star team. He also hit .261 with 13 home runs, 17 triples, 55 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Rowen was 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA and a league-leading 19 saves for Myrtle Beach. A 22nd-round pick out of Virginia Tech in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, he is 12-4 with a 1.63 ERA in 92 relief appearances in the Rangers' system. The Rangers also announced that Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and former Rangers pitcher John Burkett will be honored at the awards show. Pence will receive the 2012 Texas Professional Player of the Year Award and Burkett will receive the Mark Holtz Alumni Award. Tickets for Fan Fest, which will take place Jan. 11-12, are on sale in advance at texasrangers.com/fanfest or by calling 972-RANGERS. Tickets will also be available at the door. Fan Fest will be open on Friday, Jan. 11 from 4 until 10:30 p.m. with the Awards Show taking place from 8 until 10 p.m. A Fan Fest ticket is good for admission to the Awards Show. Fan Fest hours on Saturday are 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.