Arlington, Texas — The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has acquired four players and international slot compensation in a three-team trade that includes the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rangers have acquired left-handed pitchers Kyle Bird and Brock Burke and right-handed pitcher Yoel Espinal from Tampa Bay and infielder Eli White from Oakland. In addition, the club will receive international slot compensation from the A’s.
Texas has traded infielder Jurickson Profar to Oakland and minor league right-handed pitcher Rollie Lacy to Tampa Bay. In addition, the A’s have sent right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagan and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A pick to the Rays.
Bird and Burke will be added to Texas’ Major League roster, putting the Rangers at 36 on the 40-man roster.
The 25-year-old Bird combined to go 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA (20 ER/75.1 IP) and 1.155 WHIP over 43 games/6 starts with Montgomery (AA) and Durham (AAA) in 2018, averaging a career-best 10.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. He saw his first extended action at the Triple-A level, posting a 1.94 ERA (12 ER/55.2 IP) over 27 games/5 starts at Durham, allowing just 4 earned runs over his final 16 games and 36.0 innings after the start of July. Bird pitched for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League in October/November, compiling a 2.00 ERA (4 ER/18.0 IP) and .190 opponents batting average while allowing runs in just 2 of 18 appearances. Over 5 professional seasons, the Florida native has a 1.184 WHIP figure and 8.9 strikeouts per 9 innings over 185 games/6 starts and 307.1 innings in the minors. He originally attended Florida State and was selected by Tampa Bay out of the state’s Flagler College in the 35th round of the 2014 June draft.
Burke, 22, was selected the 2018 Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year after combining to go 9-6 with a 3.08 ERA (47 ER/137.1 IP) over 25 games/22 starts at the High-A and Double-A levels, recording a career-high 10.4 strikeouts per 9 innings. Following an early July promotion to Montgomery in the Southern League, Burke finished the season by going 6- 1 with a 1.95 ERA (12 ER/55.1 IP), 0.958 WHIP, and 11.5 strikeouts per 9 innings over 9 games/starts in his first career action at Double-A. He also earned one of the Biscuits’ 2 playoff wins with a strong playoff start against Jackson. Burke owns a career 3.41 ERA, 1.267 WHIP, and 8.7 strikeouts per 9 innings across 5 professional seasons, allowing just 0.4 home runs per 9. He has spent his entire career in the Rays system since being selected in the third round of the 2014 June draft out of Evergreen (CO) High School.
Espinal, 26, combined for a 2.25 ERA (16 ER/64.0 IP), 10 saves, 1.141 WHIP, and 11.1 strikeouts per 9 innings spanning 46 relief appearances with Charlotte (High-A) and Montgomery (AA) in 2018. He posted career bests in WHIP and strikeouts (79), finishing the year with a 1.98 ERA and 1.061 WHIP across 40 outings for Montgomery, where he was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Month for June. He has also made 5 appearances for the Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League this offseason. The Dominican Republic native has 4.04 ERA while averaging 10.1 strikeouts per 9 innings over six minor league seasons in the Detroit, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay organizations.
The 24-year-old White batted .306 with an .838 OPS figure over 130 games with Midland in 2018, his first career action at the Double-A level, while starting 64 games at 2B, 41 games at SS, 18 games at 3B, and 3 games in CF. He ranked among Texas League leaders in hits (1st, 154), runs (1st, 81), on-base pct. (1st, .388), triples (T1st, 8), batting average (2nd), walks (T3rd, 62), total bases (4th, 227), and doubles (5th, 30). His 154 hits ranked T8th among all full-season minor leaguers last season. White hit .344 with 10 RBI in 15 games for Mesa in the 2018 Arizona Fall League A league All-Star in two of his first three professional seasons, White has posted consecutive 30-double campaigns in his first two years of full-season play. The South Carolina native was drafted on three occasions and has spent his three-year pro career in the Oakland organization since being selected in the 11th round of the 2016 June draft out of Clemson University.
Profar batted .254 with 35 doubles, 6 triples, 20 homers, and 77 RBI in 146 games with Texas in 2018. Lacy, who was acquired from Texas from the Chicago Cubs in the Cole Hamels trade on July 27, 2018 combined for a 6-4 record and 2.97 ERA in 24 games/18 starts at Low-A South Bend and High-A Myrtle Beach and Down East in 2018. – RANGERS –