For the second straight day the Astros have signed a shortstop to a minor league contract. Gregorio Petit has been invited to Astros Spring Training to provide even more competition for the utility infield spot.
The Petit signing comes on the heels of the club announcing a similar deal with Cesar Izturis on Monday. Although he has very little major league experience, Petit could actually have a better chance to make the team. The 29-year old hit .292/.344/.380 for Tucson (Padres AAA) last season, playing 91 of his 134 games at shortstop. Petit found his power stroke this winter, clubbing ten homeruns and hitting .312/.351/.584 in 43 games for Leones del Caracas in his home country of Venezuela. I’m not too big on winter league stats but Petit also hit ten homers at AAA in 2012 and appears to be a better offensive threat than the other utility candidates.
Petit and Izturis are the first of possibly several minor league Free Agents that the Astros will be looking at this spring. It was announced today that a total of 23 players that are not part of the Astros current 40-man roster will be invited to Spring Training in Kissimmee. The list, consisting of nine pitchers and 14 position players, is made up mostly of prospects that were already in the Astros farm system. Here is a rundown of the list, courtesy of Brian McTaggart.