Results tagged ‘ waivers ’

Astros lose Freiman in waiver claim by Oakland

Nate Freiman, who was trying to make the club as a Rule 5 pick, was claimed on waivers Saturday afternoon by the Oakland A’s. He must stay on their 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the Padres, where he was plucked away by Houston in last year’s Rule 5 Draft.

Freiman, who hadn’t played since Wednesday, had hit .278 with one homer and seven RBIs, and it became increasingly clear he wasn’t going to fit into the Astros’ plan.

The Astros now have 35 players in camp.

“When we selected him in the Rule 5 in December we thought we were getting a right-handed power guy who’s had good success, and he’s done everything to prove that’s what he was,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Subsequent to that, getting [Chris] Carter in the trade and having [Brandon] Laird have a tremendous spring and [Brett] Wallace looking good, [Carlos] Pena looking good, it came down to a roster fit that wasn’t there that we thought might work differently.”

Luhnow said the Astros were potentially going to have a conversation with the Padres about trading for Freiman if they could get him through waivers, which they didn’t.

“He did a good job and he proved to us he is what he thought he was,” Luhnow said. “Whether or not he’s ready for the big leagues after being in Double-A that’s anybody’s guess, but he did everything that we hoped he would. It’s not a reflection on him, it’s a reflection we stayed healthy and we had a lot of options on the corners. When you talk about a player that is limited to first base or DH, there’s not many roster spots available for those types of players.”

The move perhaps betters the chances of Laird, who’s swung the well this spring, of making the team, but there’s still lots of competition for the final few position spots.

“It clears up the picture a little bit,” Luhnow said. “It doesn’t mean anybody’s guaranteed anything yet because we still need to determine those last couple of spots with [Brandon] Barnes and J.D.  [Martinez] and Laird, and there’s still enough guys in the mix. Same thing on the pitching side with the last spot in the bullpen, the last spot in the rotation. We still have our work cut out for us but we have games every day so we’ll keep after it.”

Meanwhile, relief pitcher Josh Fields, who was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in Rule 5 Draft, still has a good shot to make the club.

“It’s a little easier with a relief pitcher than it is with a position player,” Luhnow said. “We’re still optimistic we can give him a few more looks and make the right decision for the club.”

Humber ‘excited’ to return to Houston

Philip Humber, the former Rice University star pitcher who threw a perfect game last season for the White Sox, was claimed off waivers Friday by the Astros, who signed him to a one-year deal with a club option for 2014.

Humber, 29, went 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA in 26 games (16 starts) for Chicago and is expected to battle for one of the final two spots in the Astros’ pitching rotation. He lives with his family in Tyler, Texas, which is 175 miles north of Houston.  Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow delivered the news to Humber via phone earlier in the day.

“It’s really exciting, more so for my family than anything,” Humber told “The places I’ve played before, they haven’t been able to see me but a little bit, but I’ll be right up the road no now in Houston. So we’re excited about it. My wife and I have a little baby and it will make it easier on them as far as traveling and everything. I think it’s going to be a good situation.”

The proximity to his home is a bonus, but a move to the Astros comes with plenty of opportunity as they prepare to move into the American League in 2013.

“As far as the way things went last year – there were obviously some extreme highs and getting hurt and not pitching the way I was capable of – I’m excited about the opportunity to get back out there and prove I’m capable of being a good Major League pitcher,” he said.

In 80 career Major League appearances (44 starts), Humber is 16-15 with a 4.87 ERA.

Prior to his professional career, Humber had an outstanding career at Rice. He was a member of the Owls 2003 national championship team, hurling a complete-game in the championship game vs. Stanford. Humber also earned First-Team All-America honors in 2004 and currently ranks second in school history in strikeouts and third in wins.

More from Humber to come at

Braves claim Schafer from Astros

In Jordan Schafer, the Astros got a player with plenty of athleticism, but who could never seem to put it all together or stay on the field because of health reasons.

Schafer was claimed off waivers Thursday by the Braves, the team that traded him to Houston in the middle of the 2011 season as part of the Michael Bourn deal.

Schafer began last season as the Astros’ starting center fielder, but numerous injuries and a drop in production, as well as some concerns about his attitude, caused him to fall out of favor. He hit .211 with four homers, 27 stolen bases and 106 strikeouts in 313 at-bats with the Astros, but a shoulder injury limited him to 21 at-bats in the final two months.

The Astros have options in center field with Justin Maxwell, who can play all over the outfield, and rookie Brandon Barnes, who made his debut last year and made a handful of highlight reel catches in center. Waiver claim Che-Hsuan Lin can also play center field.

The subtractions of Schafer and infielder Matt Downs, who was designated for assignment earlier this week, and catcher Chris Snyder, whose option wasn’t picked up, and the addition of Lin put the 40-man roster at 37. That doesn’t include pitchers Kyle Weiland and Sergio Escalona, both of whom are on the 60-man disabled list.

Schafer was one of the top prospects for the Braves, who drafted him, four years ago before they sent him to Houston on July 31, 2011. In the deal, the Astros also received pitchers Brett Oberholtzer and Paul Clemens, both of whom reached Triple-A last year, and reliever Juan Abreu, who’s no longer in the organization.

Schafer was pulled from a game in July for what then manager Brad Mills described as “behavioral reasons” and was out of the lineup the following day. He was arrested last year and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop. He entered a drug pre-trial interview program.

Considered a solid defensive player who can run, Schafer will have a chance to begin the 2013 season as one of Atlanta’s backup outfielders. His acquisition likely lessens the odds of Jose Constanza beginning next season with the Braves.

Schafer hit .228 with four home runs and a .616 OPS in the 132 games he combined to play for the Braves during the 2009 and ’11 seasons. He homered in the first at-bat of his career and tallied two home runs in his first three games. But Schafer was never the same after suffering a left wrist injury during the fourth game of his career.

Astros make several roster moves, add Pearce

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow announced Saturday that the club has claimed infielder Steve Pearce off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. Pearce will report to the Major League club on Sunday, at which time the Astros will make a corresponding roster move.

The Astros also officially purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Armando Galarraga from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room for Galarraga on the active roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Fernando Abad to Triple-A. To make room for Pearce and Galarraga on the 40-man roster, the Astros outrighted right-handed pitchers Enerio Del Rosario and Aneury Rodriguez to Oklahoma City. Both players cleared waivers and will join the RedHawks.

Pearce, 28, was hitting .254 with four doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI in 28 games for Baltimore this season. He was designated for assignment last Sunday. The right-handed hitting corner infielder and outfielder began the regular season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the New York Yankees organization, where he hit .318 with 11 home runs and 30 RBIs in 53 games before being traded to Baltimore on June 2.

Pearce has spent parts of each of the last six seasons in the Majors with Pittsburgh (2007-11) and Baltimore (2012) and has played in 213 Major League games.

Galarraga, 30, owns a 3-2 record and a 3.97 ERA in 10 starts in the Astros Minor League system this season (nine with Oklahoma City, one with Class A Lexington). The veteran right-hander was signed by Houston as a Minor League free agent on May 21.

He began his year in the Baltimore organization before being released following Spring Training. Galarraga, who will start for Houston tonight, owns a 26-30 Major League record with a 4.69 ERA in 95 games (86 starts) across parts of five seasons with Texas (2007), Detroit (2008-10) and Arizona (2011).

Abad, 26, has posted a 3.86 ERA in 30 appearances for the Astros this season. This is his second option to Oklahoma City in 2012, where he owns a 1-0 record with two saves and a 0.00 ERA in seven appearances. Abad owns a career record of 1-5 with a 4.65 ERA in 81 appearances over the last three seasons with Houston.

Del Rosario, 26, was optioned to Oklahoma City yesterday before being outrighted today. He owns a 7.80 ERA in 15 relief appearances for the Astros this season. Other than a month-long DL stint, Del Rosario spent the entire 2011 campaign on Houston’s roster, posting a 4.58 ERA in 54 relief appearances. He has a career 1-4 record with a 5.19 ERA in 80 Major League appearances with Cincinnati (2010) and Houston (2010-12).

Rodriguez, 24, has spent the majority of his season with Oklahoma City, where’s gone 3-7 with a 6.67 ERA in 23 games (13 starts). He made one start for the Astros on May 8 vs. Miami, tossing six innings, allowing two runs on two hits. The Astros 2010 Rule 5 Draft pick spent all of the 2011 season with the Astros, posting a 1-6 record and a 5.27 ERA  in 43 appearances, including eight starts.

With the moves, the Astros 40-man roster remains full.

Rodriguez likely to stay in Houston

Astros general manager Ed Wade said Wednesday afternoon he expects left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who was claimed on waivers by the Rockies on Tuesday, will remain in Houston, which means any trade with Colorado is unlikely.

“I can’t make predictions,” Wade said. “I don’t predict what could happen, but my gut tells me at this point there’s no reason to believe that Wandy will be pitching anywhere than wherever we’re playing in five days, which is Houston.”

The Astros have until Thursday afternoon to work out a deal to send Rodriguez to the Rockies, allow the Rockies to take him in a $20,000 waiver claim or pull him back off waivers, which appears to be the direction the club is headed. Wade has a policy not to discuss waivers or trade talks.

Rodriguez started for the Astros on Wednesday afternoon against the Rockies at Coors Field, one day after telling reporters his agent informed he had been claimed by the Rockies. Wade has said he puts every player on waivers at some point, but Rodriguez drew strong interesting prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline and could have been traded to any team had he cleared waivers.

Rodriguez has pitched well this season – he’s 9-9 with a 3.31 ERA for a team that’s 44 games under .500 – but he’s owed a hefty owed $36 million after this season.

Rodriguez is due the remainder of his $7 million he’s owed in 2011, plus $10 million in 2012 and $13 million in 13. There’s a $13 million option for 2014 that becomes a player option of the player’s contract changes hands.

Wandy claimed, so now what?

We know that Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies aren’t a contender by any stretch, so their motives behind claiming Rodriguez are a little fuzzy. Maybe they wanted to block him from going to Arizona for the next three years, or maybe they actually have interest in adding him a month after trading away Ubaldo Jimenez.

Whatever the case, the Astros and Rockies have 48 hours — until noon CT Thursday — to resolve the situation. At this point, three things can happen:

1. The Astros and Rockies can work out a trade.

2. The Astros can simply give Rodriguez (and his contract) to the Rockies in exchange for a $20,000 waiver claim.

3. The Astros, either unable or unwilling to work out a trade, can pull Rodriguez off waivers, which would mean he’d remain with the Astros for the rest of the season.

The most likely scenario is the Astros wind up keeping Rodriguez. They had difficulty trading him prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline in part because of the $36 million he would be owed after this year if he switches teams. The Astros would likely be asked to take on some of that money.

Unless the Astros get blown away in a trade offer from the Rockies, they would probably just to hold onto him until the offseason and try to deal him again. Of course, they might be so eager to free up more payroll that they could simply give Rodriguez to the Rockies, making Colorado responsible for the rest of his contract. That’s a risk the Rockies took.

Interestingly, Rodriguez pitches against the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon in Denver, so they will get an up-close look at Rodriguez, who’s had a pretty good year (9-9, 3.31 ERA) on a team that’s 44 games under .500. We’ll know by Thursday afternoon if he’s going to remain with the Astros for the rest of the year or will be wearing a Rockies uniform.