Feliz, Ogando bypass arbitration with Rangers
Pitchers strike one-year pacts to avoid hearings; club, Moreland exchange figures
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have avoided arbitration with pitchers Neftali Feliz and Alexi Ogando and exchanged salary figures first baseman Mitch Moreland, their only remaining arbitration-eligible player.
The Rangers signed Feliz, 25, to a one-year, $3 million contract to avoid an arbitration hearing. Feliz, who is the leading candidate to be the Rangers' closer, made $2.9 million last year while appearing in five games in September. He missed most of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Ogando, 30, agreed to a $2.625 million deal for 2014. He made $506,600 last season while going 7-4 with a 3.11 ERA in 18 starts and five relief appearances. The Rangers are planning on using Ogando as a starter again this season.
The Rangers offered Moreland $2.025 million, while he is asking for $3.25 million. Moreland made $502,700 last year as the Rangers' first baseman while hitting .232 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs. He is the leading candidate to be the designated hitter after Texas acquired first baseman Prince Fielder from the Tigers.
The Rangers are in the process of trying to work out an agreement with Moreland that would keep them from going to an arbitration hearing for the first time since 2000. Hearings will be scheduled for Feb. 1-21.
The Rangers have already agreed on 2014 contracts with two other arbitration-eligible players in pitcher Neal Cotts and infielder Adam Rosales. In addition, the Rangers have pitchers Derek Holland and Matt Harrison and infielder Elvis Andrus signed to long-term deals that kept them from going through the arbitration process this winter.
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.