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Rockies lose Rafael Ortega to Rangers; outright Tim Wheeler off of 40-man roster

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A couple of questionable additions to the Rockies' 40-man left valuable players exposed, and the team lost one of them on Wednesday.

Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Colorado Rockies lost Double-A outfielder Rafael Ortega on a waiver claim by the Texas Rangers, the team announced on Wednesday. The club also outrighted Triple-A outfielder Tim Wheeler off of its 40-man roster.

Prior to being claimed, Ortega was apparently removed from the Rockies' 40-man despite the presence of, among others, Raul Fernandez, a 23-year-old right-handed reliever who posted a 6.29 ERA at Low-A Asheville in 2013. Ortega didn't have a good year in Tulsa, hitting just .228/.315/.297 while dealing with injuries. However, he's a season removed from a successful cup of coffee in the big-leagues and still profiles as a very good defensive outfielder with an MLB future.

The Rockies protected Fernandez, Tyler Matzek, Kraig Sitton, Rosell Herrera, Jayson Aquino, Kent Matthes and Kyle Parker, adding the group to the 40-man roster on Nov. 20. The roster was full at that point, but the moves on Wednesday created two open spots that leave the club with some flexibility to make further additions.

Ortega is the second Rockies minor leaguer to be picked up by the Rangers this offseason. The team also lost starting pitcher Edwar Cabrera to Texas after removing him from the roster in October.

I'm sure Greg Stanwood will have more on this at some point very soon. In the meantime, keep it here or at Rockies Roster for updates.