The Houston Astros placed five players on outright waivers, all of whom are now off the team.
We found out on Thursday that the Houston Astros placed reliever Roberto Osuna on outright waivers. What we didn’t know is that they also placed four additional players on waivers — Chris Devenski, Dustin Garneau, Chase De Jong and Carlos Sanabria. All five are now out of the organization.
Osuna cleared waivers and elected free agency, as expected. Devenski, Garneau and De Jong did the same. Sanabria was claimed by the Royals, so he will be part of their 40-man roster. The 23-year-old righthanded pitcher appeared in two games for the Astros in 2020, allowing two runs in two innings. He had not pitched above Double-A prior to that.
As we recently examined, the Astros are facing a 40-man roster crunch. Waiving Osuna now, as opposed to non-tendering him a month from now, opens up a much-needed spot on the roster. As it turns out, the team opened up five spots on the roster instead of just one.
A Surprise In The Mix
The fact that the Astros waived Devenski is no shock, as he was expected to be non-tendered anyway. He barely pitched in 2020 due to injury and underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery in September, and all of that came on the heels of two straight subpar seasons in 2018 and 2019. A likely price tag of around $2 million for 2021 just wasn’t something the team was willing to pay.
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De Jong made two starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2020, allowing 12 earned runs in 7.1 innings. He was picked up to serve as emergency depth when the team’s pitching staff was depleted by injury, but the front office could likely do better in picking up extra depth to have on hand for next season.
The waiving of Garneau was something of a surprise. The 33-year-old didn’t exactly excel as Martin Maldonado’s backup in 2020, posting only a .562 OPS along with poor defensive metrics, but with his 2021 salary likely being in the $700,000 range, it seemed reasonable to bring him back to serve as veteran catching depth. Instead, the Astros will be in the market for a new backup unless they plan to use Garrett Stubbs in that role.
Sanabria was one of the numerous young arms the Astros brought up to pitch in 2020, but he walked three batters and allowed three hits, including a homer, in his two innings. He demonstrated good stuff but was lacking in the control department, and while he could certainly turn out to be a solid major league arm, the team couldn’t keep everyone, and he was one of the least likely to be useful in 2021.