Let the player moves begin! Fresh off of some coaching changes that included moving Dave Trembley from the third-base box to bench coach, the Astros have announced their first player transactions of the offseason. On Wednesday, the Astros claimed 35-year old left-hander Raul Valdes off waivers from the Phillies. The club also outrighted four players to the minors and added another to the 40-man roster.
Philip Humber, Matt Pagnozzi, Cody Clark, and Brandon Laird were all removed from the 40-man to clear some room for today’s additions (and more). The other player added to the 40-man — Jonathan Singleton. The Astros top first-base prospect is the first of many players who will be added in order to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft. The deadline is November 20th, so expect to see more roster spots freed up between now and then.
Valdes split the 2013 season between AAA and Philadelphia. While with the Phillies, he appeared in 17 games, striking out 37 batters in 35 innings while posting a 7.46 ERA. The native of Cuba has a career 1.31 WHIP in 95 big league games. Valdes sports a fastball that tops out at around 87 m.p.h. as well as a curveball and a changeup. Nothing special here, but he is left-handed.