Astros DFA intriguing reliever in wake of Josh Hader signing

The Astros added a left-hander, but sent another one packing.
Houston Astros pitcher Matt Gage
Houston Astros pitcher Matt Gage / Logan Riely/GettyImages

According to Brian McTaggart of, the Houston Astros have made the Josh Hader signing official. Of course, since the Astros' 40-man roster was full prior to the announcement of last week's blockbuster deal, a corresponding move had to made.

Unfortunately for Matt Gage, he was designated for assignment. Gage appeared in five games for Houston last season and owned a 2.70 ERA with eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.

Though his major league résumé is not very long, it is impressive. Gage has a career ERA of 1.83 and a 1.068 WHIP along with a 225 ERA+. But those numbers are very inflated, seeing as how the left-hander has only appeared in a tiny sample size of 16 major league games.

Astros DFA intriguing reliever Matt Gage in wake of Josh Hader signing

While it may sting just a touch to lose a left-handed reliever like Gage, the Houston faithful are going to feel a whole lot better when they see that he's being replaced by the best left-handed reliever in the game.

The Astros and Hader agreed to a five-year, $95 million contract this past week. Hader's deal was lauded as the largest present-day value contract for a reliever in the history of the sport. Edwin Diaz signed a five-year, $102 million contract with the New York Mets, but his deal reportedly contains deferrals that lower the present-day value to $94 million.

Hader will join Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu at the backend of the Houston bullpen and turn the eighth and ninth innings into a nightmare for opposing batters. That trio will have the game on lockdown if the Astros take the lead into the eighth inning.

Gage is a left-handed reliever who's enjoyed some measure of success in the big leagues and has minor-league options remaining. At least one team is likely to pluck the southpaw off waivers. If not, Houston could outright Gage to Triple-A and extend him an invite to spring training next month.