Alex Presley Rumors

Latest On Astros’ Roster Decisions

The Astros have listened to trade ideas regarding their surplus of position players, but are not actively looking to deal, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports. There’s currently no way to get Jason Castro, Evan Gattis, Jon Singleton, George Springer, Colby Rasmus, Jake Marisnick and Chris Carter in the lineup all at the same time, Drellich points out. But their depth gives them options in case players get hurt or struggle. In particular, Gattis and Rasmus have significant injury histories, while Singleton and Marisnick are unproven. The team could also platoon Gattis and Rasmus in left field. Here’s more from Drellich on the Astros.

  • If the Astros were to make a trade this Spring, it might involve a depth player like Alex Presley rather than one of the more regular players mentioned above. Robbie Grossman could beat out Presley for the last outfield spot. Presley is out of options, and there’s at least some possibility the Astros could lose him if they expose him to waivers. From this vantage point, the risk seems minimal, given that Presley didn’t hit well last year and is making above the league minimum (at $1MM). But given the depth he represents, that possibility is at least worth considering.
  • Hank Conger has struggled this spring, but he’s still penciled in as Castro’s backup at catcher.
  • Three players whose situations are unresolved are minor-league free agent pitchers Joe Thatcher, Roberto Hernandez and first baseman Dan Johnson, Drellich says. Thatcher and Hernandez are Article XX(B) free agents, so before Opening Day, the Astros must decide whether to add them to the active roster, release them, or pay them $100K retention bonuses (and give them June 1 opt-out date). Thatcher is likely to make the team as the Astros’ second bullpen lefty. Johnson, who is not an Article XX(B) free agent, also has an opt-out date, although not until after the start of the regular season.

Astros, Alex Presley Avoid Arbitration

The Astros and outfielder Alex Presley have agreed to a one-year, $1MM contract to avoid arbitration, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected the Sports Pro Services client to earn $1.2MM.

The 29-year-old, left-handed-hitting Presley came to Houston via waiver claim from the Twins late last spring. He put up a .244/.281/.346 line over 271 plate apearances last year with the Astros, his third straight campaign with a sub-.700 OPS. But Presley has always hit in the upper minors and did show promise at the MLB level back in 2011 with the Pirates.


Astros Claim Alex Presley, Designate Raul Valdes

The Astros have claimed outfielder Alex Presley off of waivers from the Twins, tweets Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. To clear a roster spot, the team has designated lefty Raul Valdes for assignment.

Presley, 28, came to Minnesota last year in the Justin Morneau trade. Over parts of four years of MLB action, he has a .264/.304/.411 line in 821 trips to the plate. Presley has also hit 17 long balls and swiped 20 bags, though the latter figure comes against 15 times in which he's been caught stealing.

Meanwhile, the 36-year-old Valdes was claimed off of waivers in October from the Phillies. Though his 7.46 ERA in 35 innings last year with Philadelphia is unsightly, his 9.5 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 (to say nothing of a 3.10 SIERA) make things look much better. Indeed, he posted a 2.90 ERA (10.2 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 0.742 WHIP) in 2012 with the Phils, and had put up similar figures this spring (one earned, one walked, and six struck out in 5 1/3).