UPDATE: The deal is done.
Astros GM Tim Purpura is optimistic about signing Richard Hidalgo to a minor-league deal soon. Hidalgo, 31, is hitting well in the Venezuelan Winter League. He’ll compete for the right field job. He boasts well above average defense, so he just needs to put up a decent offensive showing.
Last offseason was interesting. Hidalgo tried holding out for a Major League deal, but could only get a minor league one with Baltimore. In spring, he left camp to be with his ill wife. Later in March, the O’s released him to pursue offers in Japan. He resurfaced in May auditioning for the Yankees, but that didn’t pan out either. Hidalgo ended up playing 32 games in the Gulf Coast League and did not fare well.
Now they say he got himself into shape and is looking good. The Astros could have a nice bargain on their hands, and risk is minimal.