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Rangers to sign Kyle Blanks

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers will sign Kyle Blanks to a split contract, Chris Cotillo tweets. We had discussed Blanks here as a potential replacement for Gaby Sanchez as the Bucs' righty first baseman.

It appears, though, that the Pirates won't go with a straight platoon at first -- they'll give Pedro Alvarez at bats against lefties as well as righties. (Which I don't currently see the point of, but whatever.) They've also said they'll look for some kind of "external option" at first base who isn't Alvarez or Andrew Lambo, but I wonder if that means they'll stash that player in Triple-A and potentially use the extra bench spot on someone who can play multiple positions. (Blanks can stand around in the outfield if you really need him to; Sanchez only plays first.) Right now, the Bucs' bench looks something like this:

Chris Stewart
Sean Rodriguez
Pedro Florimon / Justin Sellers / Jake Elmore
Travis Snider
???

I would have thought Blanks would fit in well there -- Rodriguez and Josh Harrison (who can move around if needed) already give the Bucs a fair amount of versatility, and the Pirates should be able to do better than Rodriguez as their top right-handed pinch hitter. Oh well. Perhaps minor league signee Deibinson Romero will get a shot in a bench righty role, or that role will go to someone the Pirates haven't signed yet.