While tossed into the Seattle Mariners‘ trade to the Houston Astros, there isn’t much known about Rafael Montero to Houston fans. The right-hander was designated for assignment last week before being traded, and there is a reason why he was a throw-in.
Montero posted a 7.27 ERA over 43.1 innings this season with Seattle, which led to his probable DFA. Austin Pruitt was DFA’d by the Astros then traded to Miami to bring Montero onto the active roster, as well as make space for Yimi Garcia, but there isn’t a high chance that he stays on the 40-man roster.
Although just acquiring Rafael Montero, the Astros could DFA him in the next two weeks.
Montero hasn’t sustained an ERA south of 3.00 more than once in his seven-year career. With the Mariners seeing no use in the right-hander, they tossed him into the deal rather than let him be claimed off waivers or sit in the minor-leagues.
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With Pedro Baez and Josh James out on rehab assignments, both pitchers will need corresponding moves to make it back on the 40-man roster. The two 60-day injured listed pitchers are both nearing their return to the major leagues, but we also can’t predict the state of the roster when they return.
The Astros are still in contention for high-leverage arms on the market, which could fluctuate the members of the roster. Unless Brent Strom can turn around Montero’s career in a short-time, he will be first in line to exit the roster, as he is just a place holder at the moment.
If a trade happens where a few 40-man spots open up, Montero will stick around. The issue is, and the reason why he was DFA’d, the right-hander doesn’t have any more minor-league options left.