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Thread: Astros signings and transactions

  1. #26

    Astros offer arbitration to Valverde

    HOUSTON -- The Astros offered salary arbitration to closer Jose Valverde on Tuesday, but chose not to offer arbitration to infielder Miguel Tejada and reliever LaTroy Hawkins -- both of whom are Type A free agents -- or Type B free agent Doug Brocail, who isn't in the club's plans for 2010.

    Valverde, a Type A free agent, has until Monday to decide whether to accept the Astros' offer and rejoin the team for 2010, or to reject the offer and sign with any team, including Houston. The Astros will get two compensatory Draft picks in return if Valverde signs with another team.

    Houston, however, will get no compensation if it loses Tejada and Hawkins, though general manager Ed Wade would like to see both back in Astros' uniforms next year.

    "We would love to retain Valverde, Hawkins and Tejada, and we continue to negotiate with all three," Wade said. "However, we have to be realistic in our arbitration offerings because of the uncertainty of the process. We plan to continue talks with all three players."

    Valverde, 31, led the National League in saves in 2007 and 2008 and went 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 25 saves last year, missing 41 games with a strained right calf. He made $8 million last season.

    Tejada, 35, led the Astros in batting average (.313) and hits (199), drove in 86 runs and ended last season on a 21-game hitting streak. The Astros would be interested in moving him to third base from shortstop if he returns. Tejada made about $14 million last year.

    The Astros have been in negotiations with Hawkins for weeks, but they haven't been able to get a deal done. Hawkins had a base salary of $3.5 million last season, and earned nearly $4 million including incentives. He was 1-4 with 11 saves and a 2.13 ERA.

  2. #27

    Astros sign Ryan Sadowski

    REGARDLESS OF HOWEVER short-lived it was, one of the best stories of the 2009 Giants was the meteoric rise of Ryan Sadowski.

    The 'Big Sadowski', a six-year minor league veteran, finally got to the majors when the Giants called him up to start against the Brewers in Milwaukee on June 28th. Thursday, the former 12th-round Giants' draft pick signed with the Houston Astros.

    Sadowski, in place of the then bullpen-demoted Jonathan Sanchez, opened his big league career in dazzling fashion, throwing six innings of shut-out ball against the Brewers, then another seven against the Astros in his following start.

    Sadowski took the mound for a third time in his unforeseen big league career, extending his scoreless inning streak to 16.2 innings — besting Hall of Famer Juan Marichal’s personal mark of 15 — before allowing two earned runs in a 7-0 loss to the Marlins.

    All told, Sadowski went 2-4 with a 4.45 ERA in 28.1 innings spread over six starts. The Giants demoted Sadowski during the all-star break allowing him stay on a regular schedule. Two weeks later, Sadowski was recalled but struggled in his next three outings before getting optioned back to the minors.

  3. #28

    Astros make some signings

    Houston P Gary Majewski - Signed to a Minor League Contract
    Houston SS Oswaldo Navarro - Signed to a Minor League Contract
    Houston LF Alex Romero - Signed to a Minor League Contract
    Houston 1B Chris Shelton - Signed to a Minor League Contract

  4. #29

  5. #30

    Astros trade for Matt Lindstrom

    HOUSTON - The Houston Astros have acquired hard-throwing RHP Matt Lindstrom from the Florida Marlins in exchange for three players, General Manager Ed Wade announced Wednesday.

    RHP Robert Bono, IF Luis Bryan and a player to be named later were exchanged to aquire Lindstrom, Wade said.

    "We’re happy to have Matt as a part of our club," Wade said. "He has a tremendous arm and has shown closer’s stuff in the past. He had some health issues last season, but we believe he’ll bounce back. We feel he has the capability to be our closer or to at least share those responsibilites."

    Lindstrom, 29, was 2-1 in 54 relief appearances for the Marlins in 2009 with a 5.89 ERA (31ER/47.1IP) and 15 saves in 17 opportunities with 24 walks and 39 strikeouts.

    In four of his 54 appearances, he allowed a combined 18 earned runs in just 2.1 innings of work. Lindstrom posted a 2.60 ERA in his other 50 outings on the season. In his career, he is 8-8 with a 3.88 ERA (74ER/171.2IP) in 191 Major League appearances, all in relief, with 20 saves, 71 walks and 144 strikeouts.

    Lindstrom was originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 10th round of the 2002 June Draft before beign traded to the Marlins on Nov. 20, 2006.

    In his first Major League season in 2007, he was named the Marlins Rookie of the Year by the Miami chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America after posting a 3-4 record in 71 appearances with a 3.09 ERA (23ER/67IP).

    His two home runs allowed tied a club record for fewest allowed in a season by a Marlins reliever. Lindstrom was 3-3 in 66 appearances for the Marlins in 2008 with a 3.14 ERA (20ER/57.1IP) and five saves.

    Bono, 20, was 10-8 in 25 starts at Lexington (A) this season with a 3.20 ERA. Bryan, 19, hit .340 (36x106) in 31 games for the Gulf Coast League Astros with two home runs and 19 RBI.

  6. #31

    Astros sign Pedro Feliz and Brandon Lyon

    Feliz agreed to a $4.5 million contract with Houston, who previously had shored up their bullpen in a pair of deals at the Major League Baseball winter meetings in Indianapolis.

    Houston traded three minor leaguers to the Florida Marlins for reliever Matt Lindstrom, and reached a contract agreement with free agent reliever Brandon Lyon, pending a physical, according to the official Major League website.

    "We're very pleased to add Pedro to our infield mix," Astros general manager Ed Wade told "He's been an outstanding defensive player and a solid run-producer for his entire career."

    Feliz, 34, hit .266 with 12 homers and 82 runs batted in last season for the Phillies, who recently signed Placido Polanco to play third base.

    The Astros reconstructed their bullpen after closer Jose Valverde declined arbitration because he was seeking a two-year deal that Houston was not willing to offer.

    Ed Wade is the GM equivalent of a bad SNL sketch. The first time he overpaid a middle reliever, we figured out that he didn’t really know how to build a roster. Now, when he gives Brandon Lyon a 3 year, $15 million deal, we just shrug our shoulders and say, “Yeah, that’s Ed Wade for ya.”

    Seriously, $5 million a year for the next three years for Brandon Lyon. We’re not talking about overpaying for a premium bullpen guy. Lyon is a generic middle reliever, the kind of guy who could be replaced by a minor league free agent or a Rule 5 draftee. His career FIP is 4.23, which is below average for a relief pitcher. He doesn’t even have magical FIP-beating properties – his career ERA is 4.20.

    But, hey, he got hit lucky last year (.229 BABIP) and that allowed him to strand a bunch of runners (80.8% LOB%), so his 2009 ERA is a sparkly 2.86. To Wade, that matters, because he’s still analyzing like it’s 1999. Don’t worry about the fact that his career BABIP is .305 or that his career LOB% is 71.4%, and that the entirety of his low ERA in 2009 was luck – pay him like the best reliever on the market anyway.

    I'm glad Dave Cameron said it instead of me ... but, yeah.

    The Astros actually play in a pretty solid market, in the top dozen or so anyway. They've got a relatively new ballpark. Owner Drayton McLane did finance roughly a third of the stadium's construction, for which he deserves credit. But the bottom line is that the Astros play in a bigger market, and are presumably wealthier, than the Cardinals, the Brewers, the Pirates, and the Reds. In fact, the Astros should enjoy huge financial edges over all or most of those clubs.

    The No. 1 argument against Ed Wade's competence is not this ridiculous contract. The Astros should be able to blow $5 million per season on freely available talent like Brandon Lyon and still win. The No. 1 argument against Wade's competence is that the Astros have been outscored by 232 over the last four seasons, and there's no reason for optimism about 2010 or beyond.

  7. #32

    Astros draft Jorge Jimenez in Rule 5 Draft, then trade him

    The same is true of the Astros' selection of third baseman Jorge Jimenez from the Red Sox at No. 8, as he's the player to be named in the Matt Lindstrom trade. And there was late word that the Mets would be dealing right-handed pitcher Carlos Monasterios (No. 7) to the Dodgers.

  8. #33

    Astros sign Jason Michaels, Gustavo Chacin

    Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Houston Astros have re-signed outfielder Jason Michaels to a one-year contract, the club announced Monday.

    Michaels, who signed a contract worth $800,000, spent 2009 with the Astros and hit .237 with a .322 on-base percentage and four home runs in 102 games.

    "Jason returns as a solid, veteran backup in our outfield," said Astros general manager Ed Wade. "When his playing time increased over the second half of last season, Jason provided the type of production that we anticipated when we originally signed him. Hes a threat as a pinch-hitter and can also go out and handle all three outfield positions. His versatility and veteran presence are big plusses."

    The 33-year-old Michaels has a career .269 average and .343 OBP in nine major league seasons with Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Houston. In 836 games, he has hit 49 homers and driven in 263 runs.

    Additionally Monday, the Astros signed left-handed pitcher Gustavo Chacin to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Chacin last pitched in the majors in 2007 with Toronto and spent last season in the Phillies' organization.

  9. #34

    Astros sign Edgar Ferreira

    The Astros have inked Dominican pitching prospect Edgar Ferreira, reports Jorge Arangure of (via Twitter).

    GM Ed Wade confirmed the signing to Brian McTaggart of, who says the signing bonus is rumored to be $350K. The 17-year-old Ferreira has a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches 94 on occasion.

  10. #35
    Named Eric Young minor league outfield and baserunning roving instructor.

  11. #36
    Signed: RHP T.J. Burton (re-signed), RHP Gary Majewski, RHP Ryan Sadowski, LHP Gustavo Chacin, LHP Andy Van Hekken, OF Freddy Parejo, OF Alex Romero
    Traded: RHP Robert Bono, 3B Jorge Jimenez and SS Luis Bryan to Marlins for RHP Matt Lindstrom
    Outrighted to Triple-A and removed from 40-man: RHP Brad James
    Rule 5 selections: RHP Jose Duran (Orioles, AAA), OF Nick Moresi (Nationals, AAA)
    Some of those I already covered.

  12. #37

    Sadowski released, headed to Korea

    Former San Francisco Giants right-hander Ryan Sadowski, who agreed to a minor league deal this offseason with the Houston Astros, signed a one-year contract Dec. 23 to pitch for the Lotte Giants of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2010, according to NPB Tracker.

    Although details have been unconfirmed, it's believed that the Astros organization let Sadowski out of his contract in order to sign with Lotte.

    The 27-year-old righty made his major league debut June 28, tossing six scoreless innings with two strikeouts to record the win against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

    Sadowski kept the momentum going with a stellar seven-inning shutout home performance against the Astros July 3.

    The "Big Sadowski" recorded 16 1/3 scoreless innings to begin his big league career before hitting a rough stretch in which he lost four straight decisions from July 8-31 while allowing 15 runs over 15 1/3 innings.

    Ultimately, he was designated for assignment Sept. 2, finishing 2-4 with a 4.45 ERA, including 17 walks and 17 strikeouts over 28 1/3 innings in six starts.

    At one point in 2009, the Yokohama BayStars attempted to lure Sadowski to Japan, but San Francisco decided to retain his contract.

    The former University of Florida standout was selected by the Giants in the 12th round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and spent over six seasons climbing the minor league ladder before catching his big break in 2009.

    Sadowski joins a Lotte squad which posted a 66-67 record last season.

    Currently, he's the only American on the roster despite the fact that former Brewers manager Jerry Royster serves as the team's manager.

    When Royster accepted the job with Lotte heading into the 2008 season, he became the first non-Korean in history to take over the helm for one of Korea's professional baseball teams.

  13. #38
    Signed: RHP Matt Ginter, LHP Jon Switzer, OF David Cook
    Released: RHP Tio McLean, 1B Kyle Miller, 2B Jeff Hulett, SS Jan Baldee, SS Brandon Wilkerson, OF Nathan Metroka, OF Eric Suttle, OF Marques Williams

  14. #39

    Astros sign Josh Banks

    HOUSTON -- Josh Banks, a right-hander who has appeared in 26 career Major League games with the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres, has signed a Minor League contract with the Astros that includes an invitation to Spring Training.

  15. #40

    Astros sign Brett Myers

    Former Phillies pitcher Brett Myers and the Houston Astros have reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract that guarantees him $5 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.

  16. #41

    Bourgeois DFA'd

    Having introduced righthander Brett Myers as their newest signing a day earlier, the Astros made room for him on the 40-man roster today by designating outfielder Jason Bourgeois for assignment.

    The Astros acquired Bourgeois, 28, from Milwaukee on a waiver claim Oct. 26.

    I'd like to report that after this offseason, I am retiring from reporting the daily team by team transactions (and the Baseball Fever community breathes a collective sigh of relief). It takes far too long to do.

  17. #42

    Astros avoid arb with Sampson and Keppinger

    HOUSTON -- Infielder Jeff Keppinger and reliever Chris Sampson each avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to one-year contracts for the 2010 season. The Astros have six remaining arbitration-eligible players, all of whom filed for arbitration Friday.

    They signed Shane Loux as well.

    C Jason Castro assigned to Houston Astros.
    C Brian Esposito assigned to Houston Astros.
    C Lou Santangelo assigned to Houston Astros.
    RHP Chia-Jen Lo assigned to Houston Astros.
    Last edited by Cowtipper; 01-16-2010 at 01:05 PM.

  18. #43
    Bourgeois was outrighted to the minors.q

  19. #44

    Astros avoid arb with Quintero, Lindstrom and Bourn

    The Astros and C Humberto Quintero avoided arbitration on Tuesday by agreeing to a one-year, $750,000 contract.
    Quintero, 30, batted .236/.286/.376 with four homers and 14 RBI in 157 at-bats with the Astros last season. He's likely to continue as a backup, whether former top prospect J.R. Towles or new blue chipper Jason Castro wins the starting backstop job during Spring Training.

    The Astros and RHP Matt Lindstrom avoided arbitration on Tuesday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.625 million contract.
    Lindstrom, who turns 30 in February, was acquired from the Marlins last month. He battled elbow problems for most of the 2009 season, posting a 5.89 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 39/24 K/BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings for the Marlins last season, ultimately losing his ninth-inning gig to Leo Nunez. He's not the favorite for saves in Houston to open the season, but he'll be one of the first in line if the newly-signed Brandon Lyon struggles.

    Bourn has even less to worry about after he and the Astros avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal on Tuesday worth $2.4 million plus bonuses for the 2010 season.

  20. #45

    Astros sign Cory Sullivan

    Wade added another versatile player Wednesday by signing outfielder Cory Sullivan to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, fulfilling the need for a veteran left-handed bat in the outfield. He hit .250 in 64 games last year with the New York Mets after spending the previous four seasons with the Colorado Rockies.

  21. #46

    Astros sign Kevin Cash

    HOUSTON -- Kevin Cash, a journeyman catcher who appeared in 10 games for the New York Yankees last season, signed a Minor League contract Friday with an invitation to Astros Spring Training.

    Cash hit .231 with three RBIs in 26 at-bats for the Yankees last year, but spent the majority of the season at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, where he hit .221 with two home runs and nine RBIs. He has two full seasons on a Major League roster, serving as backup catcher in Toronto (2004) and Boston (2008).

  22. #47

    Astros avoid arb with Pence

    HOUSTON - It was hard to determine Saturday if All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence was more excited about getting a $3 million raise or the start of Spring Training next month.

    The Astros avoided arbitration by signing Pence to a one-year contract for $3.5 million, leaving pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Tim Byrdak as their only remaining arbitration-eligible players. Pence was asking for $4.1 million against Houston's offer of $3.1 million, but the settlement still represents a drastic increase from Pence's 2009 salary of $439,000.

    Signed: RHP Jeremy Johnson (re-signed)
    Released: C Pedro Gonzalez
    Last edited by Cowtipper; 01-23-2010 at 08:55 PM.

  23. #48

    Astros avoid arb with Byrdak

    The Astros and LHP Tim Bydak avoided arbitration on Sunday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.6 million contract.
    He requested $1.9 million last week while the Astros offered $1.3 million, so the two sides met at the midpoint. Byrdak, 36, putting up a 3.23 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 76 appearances with the Astros last season despite averaging 5.28 BB/9 and 1.47 HR/9 in 61 1/3 innings.

  24. #49

    Brocail retires

    Veteran right-handed pitcher Doug Brocail says he's retiring after a 15-year Major League Baseball career.

    In an interview with KRIV-TV in Houston, the 42-year-old hurler says he's retiring, in his words, “because it's harder to get my arm in shape, and the talent just isn't there anymore.”

  25. #50

    Rodriguez loses arb

    Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez lost to the Houston Astros in salary arbitration yesterday, and will be paid $5 million this season instead of the $7 million he sought.

    Arbitrators Richard Bloch, Elizabeth Neumeier, and Fredric Horowitz made their decision a day after hearing the case.

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