Results tagged ‘ Astros ’

White Sox sign Matt Albers

The White Sox added depth to their bullpen on Friday, agreeing to a Minor League contract with veteran right-hander Matt Albers, according to multiple reports.

Albers’ deal reportedly includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training. He would earn a base salary of $1.5 million if he makes the team, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Albers, 32, was limited to eight games with the Astros last year because of a shoulder injury. When healthy, he’s been a solid reliever, posting a 2.63 ERA over the last three seasons with the Red Sox, D-backs, Indians and Astros.

The White Sox have made improving the bullpen a priority this offseason, adding free agents David Robertson and Zach Duke. Chicago’s relievers combined for a 4.38 ERA in 2014, which ranked 28th in the Majors.

–Austin Laymance

Astros trying to shore up rotation, looking at Correia

The Astros are “among the teams” that are showing interest in right-hander Kevin Correia, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

After missing out on free agent starter Ryan Vogelsong, who ultimately elected to return to the Giants last week, the Astros are now turning their focus toward other back-end starters to fill out their rotation. Houston had also been linked to free-agent right-hander Kyle Kendrick prior to missing out on Vogelsong, so he could be another option.

Correia racked up a 5.44 ERA over 32 appearances between the Dodgers and Twins last year, while Kendrick posted a 4.61 ERA over 32 starts with the Phillies.

As of right now, the Astros’ rotation consists of Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer and recently-acquired Dan Straily. Straily is currently slated into the fifth starting spot after being acquired from the Cubs last week as part of the Dexter Fowler trade, but the Astros could add some depth and create competition before Spring Training. Brad Peacock could also join the mix at some point, though he’s unlikely to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing offseason hip surgery.

– Paul Casella

Vogelsong reportedly agrees to deal with Giants

Veteran right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has agreed to return to the Giants on a one-year deal, pending a physical, according to multiple reports.

The 37-year-old Vogelsong had been linked closely to numerous clubs in recent weeks, including reportedly visiting Houston to meet with the Astros earlier this week. Instead, Vogelsong will return to San Francisco, providing the Giants with some depth to their starting rotation.

Vogelsong, who went 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA last season, rejoins a pitching staff that already includes five other starters in Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum.  That said, Cain (right elbow and right ankle surgery) and Hudson (right ankle surgery) each have injury concerns, though both are expected to be ready by Opening Day.

Lincecum, meanwhile, has struggled for the majority of the past three seasons and finished last year in the bullpen. Peavy also has his share of question marks after struggling with the Red Sox to begin last season then racking up a 6.19 ERA in four postseason starts with the Giants.

Though it’s unclear at this point exactly how the Giants’ starting rotation will shake out come Opening Day, Vogelsong’s presence certainly provides some much-needed insurance.

– Paul Casella

Vogelsong returning to Giants?

The Giants and free-agent starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong are working towards a one-year deal, tweets Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Vogelsong has been linked to a number of clubs this offseason, and was in Houston earlier this week. But a deal with the Astros never happened and MLB.com’s Chris Haft reported Wednesday that a return to the Giants was possible for the right-hander.

Vogelsong, 37, would add depth and stability to the Giants rotation. He was 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA with the club in 2014, while his 32 starts were second only to Madison Bumgarner. Since joining San Francisco in 2011, Vogelsong has a 3.74 ERA and 39-35 record.

While it appears Vogelsong could be headed for a return to the Giants, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted Thursday morning that the Astros had not been told they were out of the running to land the pitcher.

–Austin Laymance

Astros sign Colby Rasmus

The Astros have signed free-agent outfielder Colby Rasmus to a one-year contract for the 2015 season, the club announced on Tuesday.

Rasmus’ deal is for $8 million, a source told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.

Houston was in need of an established outfielder after trading Dexter Fowler to the Cubs on Monday. Rasmus is close with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, who drafted him in 2005 when Luhnow was the scouting director for the Cardinals.

A left-handed hitter, Rasmus was a free agent for the first time in his career. He’s spent the last three-plus seasons in Toronto after beginning his big league career in St. Louis. The 28-year-old had a .225/.287/.448 slash line with 18 home runs and 21 doubles in 104 games last season.

To make room for Rasmus on the 40-man roster, the Astros designated catcher Carlos Corporan for assignment.

–Austin Laymance 

Dexter Fowler to the Cubs?

The Cubs appear close to trading for Astros center fielder Dexter Fowler, according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. The proposed deal includes Major League players going to Houston, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

It’s not clear yet who all is involved in the proposed trade, aside from Fowler.

Fowler, 28, hit .276 with eight home runs, 21 doubles and four triples in 116 games with the Astros in 2014. He has a career .375 on-base percentage over seven seasons with the Rockies and Astros. He filed for salary arbitration and is eligible to become a free agent after the season.

Fowler would be a huge upgrade for the Cubs, as their current center field options include Arismendy Alcantara, Ryan Sweeney and Matthew Szczur.

–Austin Laymance

Do the Astros need to trade a catcher?

The Astros have four catchers on their roster after dealing for Evan Gattis on Wednesday. Yes, Gattis can play left field and is projected to start there this season, but that still leaves the club with three other options behind the plate: Jason Castro, Hank Conger and Carlos Corporan.

The Astros have discussed trading Corporan to the Rangers, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The club would prefer to move Corporan instead of Castro or Conger, according to the report.

Castro was an All-Star in 2013 and Conger was acquired from the Angels earlier this offseason. So it makes sense that Corporan appears to be the odd man out in Houston.

Corporan, 31, hit .235 with six home runs in 55 games last year. He agreed to a one-year deal worth $975,000 for the 2015 season on Thursday to avoid salary arbitration.

The Rangers’ current options at catcher include Robinson Chirinos, Tomas Telis and Jorge Alfaro.

– Austin Laymance

Astros, Braves discussing deal for Gattis

The Astros are reportedly close to acquiring Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis in exchange for a trio of prospects, according to multiple sources — though the deal is not finalized just yet. Mark Bowman of MLB.com adds that the Rangers are also still in the mix, if a deal is not completed with the Astros.

The potential return package from Houston would reportedly include right-handers Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman, as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Foltynewicz is ranked as the Astros’ No. 4 overall prospect according to MLB.com, while Ruiz checks in as the club’s No. 9-ranked prospect.

If a deal is completed, it would mean the Braves have traded away their top two home run hitters from 2014 in Gattis and Justin Upton, who was traded to the Padres last month.

Gattis, who could serve as a catcher, outfielder or designated hitter in Houston, is currently under contract through the 2018 season. The 28-year-old posted a .263/.317/.493 batting line this past season, while hitting 22 home runs in just 108 games. He hit 21 homers over 105 games during his rookie season in 2013.

As for the Astros, they currently have Jason Castro penciled in as their starting catcher. Castro is coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign in which he hit just .222/.286/.366 with 14 home runs, though he did rack up a .276/.350/.485 line with 18 homers — all career-bests — in 2013.

– Paul Casella

Braves still talking to clubs about Gattis

With the start of Spring Training a little less than a month away, the Braves are still talking to a few clubs that had shown interest in Evan Gattis during the early portion of this offseason.  But as of early Wednesday afternoon, it did not appear that a deal was imminent.

If Gattis is traded, his most likely destination would be to the American League, where he could be utilized as both a designated hitter and catcher.  The Astros, Rangers and Royals have been among the clubs that have shown interest this winter.

While the Royals now appear to be out of the mix, the Astros and Rangers might still have some interest in the right-handed power hitter, who has already tallied a pair of 20-homer seasons, despite not playing more than 108 games during either of his first two seasons at the Major League level.

There was a point when the Braves were hoping to land a Major League-ready starting pitcher or outfielder in exchange for Gattis.  But it appears their most recent discussions have provided reason to believe they would be more likely to gain a crop of prospects if they deal the 28-year-old slugger, who will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season.

Gattis is currently slated transition from the catcher’s position to starting left fielder in Atlanta.  While this would create the potential to compile approximately 150 additional plate appearances over the course of the season, it also creates some concern about his limitations with the glove.  He was credited with -10 Defensive Runs Saved while logging just 342 1/3 innings (approximately one-third of a full season) in left field during the 2013 season.

– Mark Bowman

Albers expected to hold workout next month

Free agent reliever Matt Albers plans to hold a workout for teams early next month, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, after missing the majority of last season due to shoulder issues.

Albers, who has been throwing since Dec. 1, was limited to just eight outings in 2014, the last of which came on April 21. His injury-riddled campaign came on the heels of posting a 3.14 ERA over 56 appearances with the Indians in 2013 and a career-best 2.39 ERA across 63 combined outings between the Red Sox and D-backs in 2012.

He was off to another strong start last season, allowing just one earned run over 10 innings (0.90 ERA) before shoulder problems derailed his season. The Astros ultimately declined his $3 million club option following the season.

– Paul Casella

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