Results tagged ‘ sign ’
Shortstop Nolan Fontana, taken by the Astros in the second round out of the University of Florida in the First-Year Player Draft, will be introduced to the media Tuesday afternoon at Minute Maid Park after he signs his deal with Houston.
Fontana was in Houston for a physical Monday morning, which was the last step before he signed. Fontana, taken with the No. 61 overall pick, was the Astros’ highest remaining unsigned pick.
Fontana hit .284 with nine homers and 30 RBIs his junior season for the Gators, helping them reach the College World Series. He had an on-base percentage of .406 in 66 games. The assigned slot value of Fontana’s spot in the Draft is $844,100.
The Astros signed No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa, a shortstop from Puerto Rico, within hours after he was drafted to a $4.8 million bonus, and on Monday signed fourth-round pick Rio Ruiz, a high school shortstop from La Puente, Calif., for $1.85 million. Pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., taken No. 41 overall out of Tampa, Fla., was signed earlier this month for $2.5 million.
Houston signed Correa for $1.3 million less than the prescribed bonus of $7.2 million for the top pick. The money the Astros saved enabled them to pay more to McCullers and Ruiz and steal them away from their college commitments.
When Fontana signs, the Astros will have signed 30 of their 41 picks, including 19 players selected in first 21 rounds. Houston still hasn’t signed seventh-round pick Preston Tucker, an outfielder from Florida, and 11th-round pick Hunter Virant, a left-handed pitcher from Camarillo, Calif., who’s committed to UCLA.
Armando Galarraga, the pitcher who was denied a perfect game two years ago when umpire Jim Joyce missed a call at first base that would have been the final out, has signed a Minor League contract with the Astros, general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday.
Galarraga, 30, will help the Astros fill a rotation spot at Triple-A Oklahoma City, which has a need for a starter after Henry Sosa agreed to pitch in Korea. Galarraga has appeared in 95 career Major League games with the Rangers, Tigers and Diamondbacks, going 26-39 with a 4.69 ERA. He was released by the Orioles in April.
Luhnow said Galarraga will throw a couple of bullpen sessions in Kissimmee, Fla., before joining the RedHawks.
“We’ve got to watch him throw,” Luhnow said. “I think [Tuesday] he’s scheduled to throw for the first time, and if that goes well he’ll face some hitters and then go out and pitch.”
On June 2, 2010, Galarraga pitched 8 2/3 perfect innings against the Indians and appeared to record the 27th consecutive out when Jason Donald hit a ground ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who flipped the ball to Galarraga covering first. Joyce incorrectly called Donald safe, costing him a perfect game. He settled for a one-hitter.
Joyce later apologized to Galarraga for missing the call.
Galarraga went 4-9 with a 4.49 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) for the Tigers in 2010, winning only two starts following near-perfect game. He was eventually traded the Diamondbacks and went 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA in eight starts.
The Astros added more pitching depth Tuesday by reaching an agreement on a Minor League contract with right-hander Livan Hernandez, a veteran of 16 Major League seasons. The deal includes an invite to Spring Training.
Hernandez, who will be 37 next month, has played for seven different teams, going 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA in 29 starts (175 1/3) innings for the Nationals last year.
“Any time you get a chance to bring an experienced Major League veteran, you’ve got to consider it,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He brings a lot to us in terms of a veteran presence in the clubhouse and his ability to pitch a lot of innings and give our team a chance to stay in games, and that’s really a big part of why we wanted to do it.
“Also, he allows us to have more options and flexibility in terms of who’s in the rotation to start the year and maybe not have to rush some younger kids that may or not be ready. It’s really about depth for us. You can’t have enough starting pitching.”
Hernandez is a durable innings-eater who has topped 200 innings in his career 10 times, most recently with the Washington Nationals in 2010. He has a career record of 174-176 with a 4.39 ERA while pitching for Florida (1996-99), San Francisco (1999-2002), Montreal/Washington (2003-2006, 2009-11), Arizona (2006-07), Minnesota (2008), Colorado (2008) and the New York Mets (2009).
He was named the World Series Most Valuable Player for the Marlins in 1997 and made the All-Star team in 2004 and 2005. A workhorse, he’s led the league in innings pitched three times: 2004-05. He’s thrown more than 50,000 pitches in his career.
The Astros got their men late Monday night, signing first-round pick George Springer and third-round pick Jack Armstrong, announcing the deals just after the 11:01 p.m. CT deadline. Springer got a $2,525,000 bonus, and Armstrong signed for $750,000, according a person with knowledge of the situation.
“This was a contentious day, but at the end of it we got the two prime guys we set out to get over the last couple of months,” Astros assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck said. “At the end of the day, we knew both kids wanted to play.”
Springer, 22, was drafted with the No. 11 overall pick out of the University of Connecticut, where he hit .343 with 12 homers, 77 RBIs, 31 stolen bases and a .450 on-base percentage during his junior season. He will likely begin his career at Tri-City.
“He stayed in shape,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said. “We had a chance when he came in for his physical the other day to see him firsthand, and he’s in pretty good shape. I’m sure he’s going to be able to bounce back and do whatever we ask.”
Armstrong, 21, appeared in 13 games for Vanderbilt, going 9-1 with a 2.65 ERA while striking out 17 batters in 17 innings. The 6-foot-7 right-hander spent his summer pitching in the Cape Cod League to re-establish his value after injuries slowed him down in college this spring. He’s the son of former Major League pitcher Jack Armstrong Sr.
“It was a full family decision, just talking with my dad and mother and my brother and sister,” Armstrong told MLB.com via phone. “It was the right time, the right fit and the right people. I’m excited to get my professional career going and I think it’s with the right organization.”
The Astros signed 35 of their top 50 picks this season, including their top 13 selections.