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Rangers agree to terms with free agent right-handed pitcher Jon Gray on four-year contract covering 2022 through 2025 seasons

Former Colorado Rockie ranks second on franchise’s all-time strikeout list (849)

Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with free agent right-handed pitcher Jon Gray on a four-year contract covering the 2022 through 2025 seasons.

Gray, who turned 30 years old on November 5, has spent his entire Major League career (2015-21) with the Colorado Rockies. He finished the 2021 campaign with an 8-12 record and 4.59 ERA over 29 starts, posting a 9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings figure that ranked 12th in the National League (min. 145 IP). His season included a pair of stints on the Injured List: June 5-24 (right forearm flexor strain) and Sept. 1-7 (right forearm tightness).

Since the start of 2016, Gray ranks among National League leaders in starts (9th, 142), strikeouts (11th, 809), innings (13th, 788.2), and wins (T13th, 53). The right-hander posted four straight seasons of 10-or-more wins from 2016-19, as he is one of 20 Major League pitchers to compile at least four 10+ win campaigns over the last 6 years.

According to Inside Edge, Gray has recorded 200 of his 329 strikeouts (61%) with his slider since the start of 2019, the fourth-highest mark in MLB over that span. His 2021 season was marked by the highest slider usage of his career (38.1%), as he limited opponents to a .156 batting average (37-237) when using the pitch last season.

Gray was the Rockies’ Opening Day starter in 2017 and 2018, and took the mound for the second-ever game at Globe Life Field on July 25, 2020 against the Rangers. He completes his Rockies tenure among the franchise’s all-time leaders in several categories including strikeouts (2nd, 849), starts (5th, 151), innings (6th, 829.1), and wins (T7th, 53). His .633 (31-18) career home win percentage is the third-best mark in franchise history (min. 40 starts).

An Oklahoma native, Gray finished his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma before being selected by the Rockies in the first round (third overall) of the 2013 MLB Draft. He has produced a 53-49 record, 4.59 ERA, and 9.2 strikeouts per 9 innings figure in 152 games/151 starts across seven Major League seasons with Colorado (2015-2021).

Following the Rangers’ transactions for Wednesday, the club now has 39 players on its Major League roster.

RANGERS SIGN FOUR TO MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACTS: The Rangers have signed a total of four players to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training camp: C David Garcia, C Yohel Pozo, RHP Jesus Tinoco, and C Meibrys Viloria. Garcia and Pozo have re-signed with Texas after becoming free agents when they were not tendered contract offers prior to Tuesday night’s 7:00 p.m. CST deadline.

Garcia recorded a .256 batting average, 5 home runs and 40 RBI in a career-high 83 games with High-A Hickory this season. The Venezuela native owns a career .253 batting average, 12 home runs and 115 RBI over four minor league campaigns since signing with Texas as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2016.

Pozo batted .284/.312/.378/.690 (21-74) with one home run and 9 RBI in 21 games/19 starts with Texas in 2021, his first big league action. A native of Venezuela, Pozo was selected by Texas from San Diego in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft on December 10, 2020 after originally signing with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent on August 17, 2013.

Tinoco, 26, spent the majority of the 2021 season with Triple-A Albuquerque in the Colorado organization, going 3-2 with a 6.00 ERA (36 ER/54.0 IP) in 36 games/2 starts for the Isotopes. He has appeared in the Majors in each of the last three seasons with Colorado (2019-20-21) and Miami (2020), posting an 0-3 record and 4.89 ERA in 31 relief outings. The majority of his MLB action came with the Rockies in 2019, when he appeared in 24 games. In his minor league career, the Venezuela native owns a career 38-55 record and 4.81 ERA across 196 games/122 starts in the Toronto and Colorado organizations.

Viloria, 24, combined to bat .242/.368/.384/.752 with 8 home runs and 31 RBI over 85 games this season with Omaha (AAA) and Northwest Arkansas (AA) in the Kansas City organization. The Colombia native saw Major League action in three straight seasons with the Royals from 2018-20, batting .215 with one home run and 19 RBI over 67 games in his MLB career.

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