Not a whole lot to say about this news story, except the title. Dammit. I liked him. Oh well.
Pitcher , who has never lived up to his once-promising potential, today signed a minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers and received an invitation to spring training.
The 30-year-old Robertson had no record and a 15.88 ERA in 5 2/3 innings with the Anaheim Angels last year. Anaheim released the 6-4 left-hander on November 16th.
Robertson had a solid season for Triple-A Vancouver, going 11-12 with 3.81 ERA in 27 starts. As a left-hander, he has an outside chance to join right-handers Rick Helling, Aaron Sele, Esteban Loaiza and newly acquired Mark Clark in the Rangers rotation.
Robertson is 17-30 with a 5.40 in 114 games with Pittsburgh, Minnesota and the Angels. In 1996 with the Twins, he was 7-17 with a 5.12 ERA, allowing 197 hits in 186 1/3 innings. He struck out 114 but also led the American League with 116 walks.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS (TICKER) — One day after he was refused salary arbitration by the Chicago Cubs, right-hander Mark Clark agreed to terms today on a two-year, $9 million contract with the American League West champion Texas Rangers.
Clark, whose $5.05 million salary last season ranked second on the Cubs, will be paid $4 million in 1999 and $5 million in 2000. The deal includes a $5 million club option for 2001.
Clark fills a void left by Todd Stottlemyre, who two weeks ago signed with Arizona, and joins a staff dominated by right-handers, including John Burkett, Rick Helling, Aaron Sele and Esteban Loaiza.
The 30-year-old Clark had a disappointing season in 1998 for the wild card-winning Cubs, going 9-14 in 33 starts with a 4.83 ERA.
“They went a lot better than my wins and losses showed,” he explained. “I pitched deep into a lot of ball games … but came out without a lot to show for it.”
Clark still reached the 200-inning plateau for the third straight season, allowing 236 hits while walking 48 and striking out 161 in 213 2/3 innings.
“Staying healthy is the main key,” he said. “I’ve been out there every fifth day for the last three years. I do a lot of working out between my starts and try to stay healthy for the season.”
Clark admitted that the Cubs, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Boston all showed interest but he decided to join a team that led the league in batting average and ranked second in runs scored.
“My agent and I had talked to some other clubs but talking to the Rangers we had some converstions with them and they worked out pretty good,” he said. “I think they led all the major leagues in run scoring. The runs they scored like that can lead to a lot of wins.”
Acquired from the New York Mets on August 11th, 1997 as part of a six-player deal, Clark won eight of his first nine decisions for Chicago, including his first two starts last season. Over parts of two seasons for the Cubs, he was 15-15 with a 4.36 ERA in 42 starts.
Clark returns to the American League. After making 27 appearances for St. Louis from 1991-92 in his first two major-league seasons, he was dealt to Cleveland for outfielder Mark Whiten. He has a 68-59 career record and a 4.21 ERA in parts of eight seasons with the Cardinals, Indians, Mets and Cubs.
His only appearance at the Ballpark at Arlington ended in disaster. On his first start of the 1998 season, he allowed nine runs and six hits while recording just four outs.
“Every time I’ve been in Texas, I’ve enjoyed it down there,” he said. “I like pitching in the heat and I know it gets awful hot down there. The Ballpark and the fans are great so I’m really looking forward to coming down.”
Today’s agreement is the third significant signing by the Rangers in the offseason. They re-signed shortstop Royce Clayton and inked free agent first baseman Rafael Palmeiro to a five-year pact.
“They’ve got a pretty awesome defense out there,” Clark said. “They signed Palmeiro and Clayton. … Being a ground ball pitcher, you have to have a good defense out there. As long as I can keep the ball on the ground and with the runs they can produce, it’s going to be a lot of fun, I think.”
Texas won the AL West last season before losing to the New York Yankees in the Division Series.
Juan Gonzalez got married today (for the fourth time) today to singer Olga Tanon. They got married in San Juan, Puerto Rico. No info on where they are honeymooning or anything like that.
Today the Texas Rangers offered salary arbitration to pitcher Roger Pavlik (most likely because there’s not enough A-line pitchers out there). They also announced they will not offer salary arbitration to pitchers Scott Bailes, Greg Cadaret and Xavier Hernandez and catcher Bill Haselman. I really wish they would have made an effort to keep Haselman, I *REALLY liked him. It’s a shame to see him go. I just hope he goes somewhere where he can play if he does have to leave.
The other two signings of the week (Royce Clayton (4 yrs) & Rafael Palmiero (5 yrs). Looks good for 1999 so far.