The Astros likely added Franklin Barreto in response to a minor-league injury.
On Sunday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported that infielder Edwin Diaz underwent surgery to repair a fractured hook in his hamate bone in his left hand last week. While the injury went unreported, the Houston Astros likely added the insurance to Diaz, signing infielder Franklin Barreto.
Diaz’s signing went unnoticed, as the tenured minor-league infielder was added to the system in December with a major-league spring training invite. Both Diaz and Barreto were prospects for the Oakland A’s but didn’t live to the potential that analysts gave them.
As Diaz’s surgery was reported to have happened last week, Barreto’s addition looks to be in response to Diaz being out six weeks. Neither infielder is on the 40-man roster, leading to the belief that they are in the same boat as Jose Siri in 2021.
The two infielders are low-cost depth to round out a young Triple-A infielding corp that saw departures of tenured prospects and major-league experienced gloves like Miguelangel Sierra, Jacob Wilson and Robel Garcia.
Over the last year, the Astros have made additions similar to Diaz and Barreto with Wilson and Garcia, who played for the A’s and Los Angeles Angels, respectively. There is a correlation of where the Astros are finding low-cost, high-reward depth in Oakland and Los Angeles.
With Diaz out the first month-and-a-half of play, Barreto steps in as depth in response to injury or needed experience.
Barreto has yet to see the field or the box, as of Sunday’s spring training game. But if something stands out in his play, Barreto is an option as an extra utility player with expanded rosters in April, although his lack of minor-league options does not benefit his case to make it back on a major-league roster.