The Astros acquired left-hander Sergio Escalona from the Phillies for minor league second baseman Albert Cartwright, according to the teams. The Phillies designated Escalona for assignment over the weekend to make room for J.C. Romero. Escalona, who will be added to Houston's 40-man roster, appealed to the Astros because of his ability to retire left-handed hitters.
“Sergio adds depth to the competition for lefthanders in our bullpen,” GM Ed Wade said in a statement. “Our scouts have liked his stuff and believe he’s got a chance to be very effective in left-on-left situations.”
Wade was Philadelphia's GM when the Phillies signed Escalona out of Venezuela in May of 2004. The 26-year-old posted a 4.61 ERA in 14 appearances for the 2009 Phillies, but most of his pro experience has come in the minor leagues. Escalona posted a 3.81 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 50 relief appearances at Double-A Reading last year.
Cartwright, 23, split last season between Class A and Double-A, batting .294/.355/.472 in 547 plate appearances. As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, this isn't the first time Wade and Ruben Amaro Jr. have made deals together; the Roy Oswalt trade is their most memorable swap.