The Astros announced today that they have selected the contract of lefty Kent Emanuel. That move will prevent him from reaching minor-league free agency.
The Houston organization also declined a $2.825MM club option over righty Chris Devenski. But that does not mean he’ll necessarily be lost to the open market. Devenski remains eligible for arbitration and projects to earn $2.0MM through that process.
Set to turn 29 later this month, Devenski’s not far removed from a tremendous run in Houston’s bullpen. He looked like an elite reliever at times from 2017-18, the first of which was a championship season for the Astros, but has come to earth over the past two years. Devenski’s now coming off a season in which he logged a pedestrian 4.83 ERA/4.62 FIP with 9.39 K/9, 2.74 BB/9 and a 32.7 percent groundball rate over 69 innings. He then wasn’t much of a factor in the Astros’ run to a World Series berth, as they left him off their ALDS and ALCS rosters. While Devenski did pitch in the team’s World Series loss to Washington, he allowed three earned runs in as many innings.
Emanuel, 27, is a former North Carolina Tar Heel who joined the Astros as a third-round pick back in 2013. The left-hander has grades as one of Baseball America’s top 30 Astros prospects on multiple occasions in the past, though he hasn’t gotten to the bigs yet. Emmanuel is on the heels of his best Triple-A campaign, however, as he notched a 3.90 ERA/4.09 FIP with 7.17 K/9, 2.04 BB/9 and a terrific 57 percent grounder rate over 101 2/3 innings.