ARLINGTON, Texas – The other former Chicago Cubs player is just as excited to be a member of the Texas Rangers as Ryan Dempster.
Catcher Geovany Soto was in uniform Tuesday as the Rangers completed their trade for him earlier in the day.
Soto, who spent his entire career with the Cubs, is excited to get started with his new team.
“The opportunity to go play for what we come to play for I feel great about,” said Soto, who goes from a Chicago team 15 games under .500 to a first-place club. “It’s a little bit surreal right now. I’m just getting my feet wet but very excited.”
Soto’s addition spelled the end of Yorvit Torrealba’s time with the Rangers. The club designated Torrealba for assignment to make room for Soto.
Soto, who is under team control through next season, missed part of the year after having surgery on his left knee but said he’s 100 percent right now. He’s hitting just .195 but the Rangers felt like he would be an upgrade over Torrealba.
“We get a catcher we think has his best days ahead of him,” said general manager Jon Daniels said. “He’s struggling a little bit this year and quite frankly I think that’s why he was available for the price he was. We think he’s got a chance to flourish and offensively give us a little lift back there as well.”
Soto’s first start will come Thursday with Dempster on the mound. Texas manager Ron Washington said he’d use Soto the same way the club used Torrealba and said he would get a lot of playing time.
Soto is eager to get to work with the Texas pitchers and isn’t concerned about playing time.
“They’ve very aggressive,” said Soto, who has played in just 51 games this season. “They come after you. They seem intimidating. When you see them on TV, they look like bulldogs out there. That’s good to know.”