Astros Sign Josh Banks

The Astros signed righty Josh Banks to a minor league deal, tweeted's Corey Brock last night.  Banks, 27, has a 4.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.5 HR/9, and 5.38 ERA in his 115.3-inning big league career.  For the Padres' Triple A affiliate this year he logged a 3.46 ERA in 125 innings.  The Padres had claimed Banks off waivers from the Blue Jays in April of '08.

Banks made an appearance in Baseball America's 2008 Handbook, where his control, durability, and pitch efficiency were praised.  However, they labeled his fastball as straight and suggested he "may be around the strike zone too much."

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