Lindstrom reacts to trade to Rockies

Matt Lindstrom was shoveling ice and snow from his mother’s driveway Thursday morning in Rexburg, Idaho, when he phone started going crazy. He soon found out he had been traded for the second consecutive offseason, but the news wasn’t all necessarily bad.

Lindstrom, who makes his offseason home in the Denver area, had been traded to the Colorado Rockies, who sent Minor League left-handed pitcher Wes Musick and right-handed pitcher Jonnathan Aristil to the Astros. “It’s pretty exciting,” Lindstrom told MLB.com on Thursday. “It’s a little bit bittersweet because I enjoyed my time in Houston so much and all my teammates and everyone was really good to me down there. I’m going to miss even [the media]. At times I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, but [the media] wasn’t too hard on me. I’m really excited to get going to Colorado and help them out and provide late-inning relief, especially because that’s where I spend my offseason.”

Lindstrom said he had talked to both Astros general manager Ed Wade and Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd on Thursday.

“[O'Dowd] clued me in on what they’re going to have me do and that’s provide late-inning relief,” he said. “Whatever the innings may be, there’s a lot of good guys over there already and hopefully I can contribute.”

Lindstrom, whom the Astros acquired a year ago in a trade with the Marlins, went 2-5 with a 4.39 ERA and a team-high 23 saves in 58 appearances. Lindstrom lost his closer’s job when he struggled in the second half of the year and wound up spending two weeks on the disabled list with a lower back strain.

“There were things I learned through my journey last year,” Lindstrom said. “I’m just going to take care of myself and be healthy all year and I know if I can do those things, good things will happen.”

When asked how he feels now, Lindstrom said: “Feel awesome.”

Lindstrom made $1.625 million last season and was due a raise in arbitration, which made him a candidate to be traded by the budget-minded Astros. Houston has feels good about its bullpen depth, with Brandon Lyon saving 20 games last season and Wilton Lopez developing into a dependable late-inning arm.

The Astros have also shopped infielder Jeff Keppinger, who started at second base for most of last season but has been pushed back to the bench by the signing of Bill Hall earlier this week. Houston traded with the Rockies in November to acquire shortstop Clint Barmes. Keppinger is still dealing with foot issues.

With the acquisitions of pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, Barmes and Hall and trading away Lindstrom, the Astros are pretty much done this offseason, unless they can find a taker for Keppinger. They are also still in the market for a left-handed reliever.

In the last sixh months, the Astros traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Pedro Feliz and Lindstrom and got eight prospects in return, plus they took two more in the Rule 5 Draft. That’s 10 young players injected into the system.

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I am on vacation all of next week — like I was this week, with the exception of helping my colleagues here and there on all the Astros news that happened — and I want to wish everyone who reads this blog a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Spring Training is around the corner!

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