The Norman Transcript

National Sports

February 27, 2014

Texas lineup has starters from seven different countries

(Continued)

SURPRISE, Ariz. —

Over the past eight years, the Rangers have developed a strong presence in the Dominican Republic and that branched throughout Latin America. They also started scouting heavily in Japan and throughout the Pacific Rim — that is what led to them bidding big and being able to sign Darvish two years ago.

“Our mentality is we want the best players regardless where they’re from,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Obviously it’s worked out that way, where we’ve got a lot of international players. Some of that is because I think we’re open-minded to it, some of it is because a few years ago we set out to establish a program internationally and feel that we’ve done well there.”

The GM also points out that some of the formation of the current roster was the way players became available and the timing of such. He said the Rangers never set out to have an all-international starting lineup.

“It’s unique, and I think each of these guys bring something different,” he said. “I’m kind of looking forward to watching them come together.”

Rios is a major league veteran acquired by the Rangers in a trade last season after Nelson Cruz was suspended 50 games. Choo, who made his major league debut in 2005, signed a free-agent deal during the winter.

Potential closer Joakim Soria was born in Mexico, and Canadian outfielder Jim Adduci made his major league debut with Texas last year. Both were free-agent additions before last season.

“When you’re putting together a team, we were totally color blind,” assistant general manager Thad Levine said. “It didn’t hit us between the eyes until I think we started penciling in what the 25-man roster could look like. It is remarkable to the extent that we do have diversity on the field.”

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