J. R. Towles C TEX 6 Months
Towles signed a minor league contract with the Rangers, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.
Towles was last with a team in 2013, but appears to have latched on in the Rangers' organization following the trade of Geovany Soto to the Athletics on Sunday. He will provide the Rangers with some depth at the position, but is likely not a threat to crack the big league roster this season.
J. R. Towles C TEX 11 Months
J.R. Towles has signed with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League.
Towles, a former top prospect with the Astros, played at the Triple-A level last season between the Cardinals and Dodgers. He turned 30 in February.
J. R. Towles C TEX Mar 09 '79
Dodgers signed C J.R. Towles to a minor league contract.
Towles began the season with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate and batted .237 in 19 games before being given his release. The 29-year-old backstop hasn't played in the majors since 2011 and will serve as organizational depth with Los Angeles.
J. R. Towles C TEX Sep 29 '78
Cardinals signed J.R. Towles to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Towles hit an underwhelming .214/.280/.315 with one home run and 10 RBI in 52 games for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate last season. He isn't a threat to Tony Cruz's backup job and projects to open 2013 in an organizational depth role.
J. R. Towles C TEX Aug 17 '78
J.R. Towles has elected free agency.
The 28-year-old backstop hit an underwhelming .214/.280/.315 with one homer and 10 RBI in 52 games for Triple-A Rochester in 2012. Even though there may be hidden upside offensively, with his sub-par defensive ability it may be difficult for Towles to score a spring training invitation.
J. R. Towles C TEX Sep 28 '77
The Twins "fully expect (Sean) Burroughs and (J.R.) Towles to make a push for the 25-man roster," according to ESPN 1500.
Minnesota signed former top prospects Burroughs, Towles and Steve Pearce to minor league contracts last week. The trio likely was attracted to a Twins roster that was decimated with injuries last season and leaned heavily on their Triple-A affiliate for reinforcements. Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said he believes Towles could push Drew Butera for the third catcher job (behind Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit) and Burroughs might challenge Danny Valencia for the third base job. Towles (.286/.389/.443 career slash line at Triple-A) isn't much of a defensive catcher, but would be a gigantic offensive upgrade over Butera, who is the major league's worst hitter. Deep AL-only players will want to keep an eye on both Towles and Burroughs in camp.
J. R. Towles C TEX Sep 24 '77
Twins signed C J.R. Towles to a minor league contract.
He gets an invite to camp. The former top prospect has been a major bust in the big leagues, batting just .187/.267/.315 with 11 homers and 50 RBI over 484 plate appearances. Towles, now 27, picked a decent spot to try to resurrect his career. Joe Mauer is brittle and Drew Butera wouldn't be handed the starting job if (when) Mauer lands on the disabled list in 2012 because of his terrible bat. Minnesota would also probably like to stay away from putting Ryan Doumit at catcher for an extended period of time because of his own health issues. It's not a reach to believe Towles could accrue some at-bats at Target Field in 2012.
J. R. Towles C TEX Jul 23 '77
Astros sent C J.R. Towles outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Towles, now 27, will become a free agent following the World Series. The former top prospect has been a major bust in the big leagues, batting just .187/.267/.315 with 11 homers and 50 RBI over 484 plate appearances.
J. R. Towles C TEX Jun 12 '77
Astros recalled C J.R. Towles from Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Towles hit just .180/.264/.297 in 128 at-bats with the Astros earlier this season. The failed prospect will function as Houston's emergency catcher down the stretch.
J. R. Towles C TEX Apr 16 '77
Astros optioned C J.R. Towles to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
With Jason Castro (knee) likely out for the season and Humberto Quintero (ankle) missing well over a month, Towles had plenty of chances to impress, but he batted just .180/.264/.297 over 128 at-bats, numbers that are right along with his career digits. The Astros have opted to keep Carlos Corporan as Quintero's backup.