Astros: Juan Centeno is placed on waivers
Juan Centeno’s future with the Astros is up in the air after being placed on waivers.
Early this week, Jake Kaplan wrote that Evan Gattis would most likely be the Astros’ primary DH in 2018. In that article, Kaplan hinted that Juan Centeno would most likely be placed on waivers. The hope is that he will clear waivers and be removed from the 40-man roster. They hope they hang onto the catcher.
Centeno was indeed placed on waivers, meaning any team could claim him. Should he clear waivers, he will be outrighted to Triple-A. They are trying to clear space on the 40-man roster before the upcoming Winter Meetings.
If they were going to do this, why did they wait until after the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft? The Astros did not protect Jason Martin and Jon Kemmer, who can now be claimed on the last day of the Winter Meetings. One of them could have been added right?
It’s all about the timing.
The Astros did not have time to place Centeno on waivers and protect Martin or Kemmer. Maybe they could have done it earlier, but Jeff Luhnow has a plan that he is executing. If it wasn’t done, there was a reason that it wasn’t done.
It’s a good move because most of the teams have protected some of their Rule 5 eligible prospects. That leaves only a few teams with room to claim a player like Centeno. Would you give up one of your younger stars to get a chance to claim Centeno?
Also, because he was claimed last year by the Astros, he has the control this year. According to Kaplan, if he clears waivers, he can choose to become a free agent. In that case, he’s open to signing with another team.
While Centeno could still be in the system, this could be a sign of things to come for the catcher spot. Max Stassi is now the penciled in the second catcher behind Brian McCann. Garrett Stubbs will be ready soon.
Next: Do the Astros even have a shot at Shohei Ohtani?
Could this also be the prelude to a trade or signing of a player like Jonathan Lucroy to be the backup? Gattis may still catch from time to time. Centeno will be the answer to the trivia question that asks, who didn’t get an at-bat in the 2017 playoffs. Good luck to Centeno.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***