OF Willie Calhoun clears waivers, accepts Triple-A assignment

CHICAGO – The Rangers signaled their intention to move on from outfielder Willie Calhoun — once a highly-touted prospect — last Sunday by designating him for assignment. Moving on, however, isn’t always on a team’s terms.

Calhoun, 27, cleared waivers on Saturday and accepted his assignment at Triple-A Round Rock. Because Calhoun has over three years of MLB service time, he had the option to decline and elect to become a free agent, but that move would’ve been costly. By doing so, Calhoun would’ve also walked away from the rest of the $1.3 million he had guaranteed for this season.

If Calhoun had five years of service time, he could’ve elected free agency and pocketed the rest of his guaranteed money for this season, but he just recently passed the three-year threshold.

Calhoun was once a prized prospect for the Rangers. He was the headliner in the trade return for starting pitcher Yu Darvish in 2017. He made it to the big leagues later that season and was with the Rangers off and on for six seasons. In 2019 he hit .269 and hit 21 home runs in 83 games.

In 2020 and 2021, Calhoun dealt with injuries, but entered 2022 with a chance to lock down a full-time spot with the Rangers. He hit .136 in 44 at bats before he was optioned for the first time since 2019. The move prompted Calhoun to respectfully ask for a trade. A month later, he was designated for assignment – a decision that Jon Daniels, the team’s president of baseball operations, said wasn’t a very difficult one.

“I know that sounds crass, but I talked to Willie this morning and I’m fond of him as a person, and as for the business part… at some point the opportunities run out,” Daniels said.

“At this moment in time, the opportunity wasn’t going to be here.”

Calhoun’s immediate future will be at Triple-A Round Rock without a 40-man roster spot. Since he was demoted, Calhoun has had 68 at bats for Round Rock. He’s hitting .221 with four home runs and 15 RBIs.

Calhoun hasn’t played in Round Rock since June 4, however. That was a day before the Rangers designated him for assignment.

Staff writer Evan Grant contributed to this report.

On Twitter: @JoeJHoyt

Rangers call up Prosper, Oklahoma product Steele Walker; Willie Calhoun DFA’d

Find more Rangers coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

Click or tap here to sign up for our Rangers newsletter.

Leave a Comment