Phil Humber: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Rice product comes home

No not that Rice product but rather another member of that tremendous program down on University Blvd. Philip Humber is an Astro after being claimed off waivers Friday afternoon. The ‘Stros were so thrilled to get him that they signed him to a 1-year deal right afterward with a team option for 2014. Is this the move everyone expected would kick off an exciting offseason? Does this move thrill the masses and proclaim the ‘Stros back on track? No, not close to those levels but it is a solid under the radar move. I guess it’s the prototypical low risk/high reward type deal. If Humber blows up under Doug Brocail and Bo Porter then he is a steal and asset, worst case he is a cheap cut.

Humber has been a pretty big mystery ever since he was drafted third overall by the Mets in 2004 but has never seem to put it together. Well, he has had some success and even seasons that make him an intriguing get for Jeff Luhnow. Heck, he was magical on one day in particular, you could say perfect. Regardless of what he was expected to become, the Astros can only hope he can tap into even a portion of that potential. If he does, then the Astros would have found a solid back of the rotation arm that so often was an issue last season and rebuilding clubs struggle to find.

So this brings the 40 man roster to 37 and creates a bit more intrigue come the Winter Meetings next week. Only three open spots remain and it can be assumed a DH will occupy spot number 38. That leaves another two spots and considering the Rule 5 draft will occupy one if not both spots, could we be seeing a trade or two? Maybe that happens, but one thing is for sure and that is that the roster sure isn’t set, not by a long shot.

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