The Astros added another starting pitcher to the roster today. Jeff Luhnow announced that Houston has acquired John Ely from the Dodgers in exchange for Rob Rasmussen. It looks like Ely, a 26-year old righthander, will be one of several pitchers auditioning this Spring for a spot in the Astros rotation. Rasmussen was not on the 40-man roster, meaning a corresponding move will need to be made to trim the roster to 40.
John Ely (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
As Alex suggested last night, a trade involving one of the Astros veteran players could be in the works. Still waiting for the Jose Veras signing to become official, the addition of Ely means we will probably see two players removed from the 40-man. Luhnow also announced that Mickey Storey, who was designated for assignment to make room for Carlos Pena, has been claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays.
I’m still trying to figure out why Veras is a better bullpen option than Storey. The youngster has now been claimed by the Yankees and the Blue Jays this month. If he’s good enough to be part of those two rosters he should be good enough to stick with the Astros.
The Ely for Rasmussen trade reeks of a move that will be followed by another trade. Rasmussen, a lefty, was considered to be a decent prospect. Some ranked him as high as #20 in the Astros farm system. Ely has minor league numbers similar to those of Rasmussen, but he has struggled in the big leagues. Add in the fact that Ely is out of minor league options and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop on this deal.
UPDATE: Apparently Ely still has an option left. I was going by the three year rule which usually applies. Don’t know why it doesn’t in this case.
Also, outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin has been designated for assignment and we are still waiting for the Veras deal to become official.