The Astros have signed reliever Tayler Scott to a minor league contract, according to the transaction tracker at MLB.com. He qualified for minor league free agency shortly after season’s end upon being outrighted by the A’s.
Scott pitched in 18 MLB contests last season, logging a personal-high 17 2/3 innings. He split that across three clubs. Scott began the year in Los Angeles after signing a minor league contract with the Dodgers. He was traded to the Red Sox in June and claimed off waivers by Oakland a month thereafter.
The big league results weren’t particularly impressive. Scott allowed 12 runs (11 earned), striking out 17 while issuing 10 walks. On the other hand, the 31-year-old had excellent numbers in the minors. He worked to a 1.64 ERA over 38 1/3 Triple-A frames. Scott struck out more than 29% of opponents compared to a manageable 8.7% walk percentage at that level.
That makes him a sensible target for clubs seeking non-roster bullpen depth. Scott finds a solid landing spot with a Houston team that has a few vacancies in the middle innings. The Astros have a strong back end anchored by Ryan Pressly, Bryan Abreu and Kendall Graveman, while Rafael Montero is sure to get another look. There’s not a ton of depth, though, as each of Hector Neris, Ryne Stanek and Phil Maton got to free agency.
While the Astros have shown some interest in retaining Neris and Maton, GM Dana Brown has acknowledged they could look to plug some of those vacancies internally. That affords opportunities for non-roster signees like Scott and Wander Suero, who signed with Houston two weeks ago. Scott is out of options, so if the Astros give him an MLB look at any point, they’d have to keep him on the big league roster or risk losing him via trade or waivers.