FanPost

Astros Sign Crowe, Escalona, Gonzalez, and Valdez

Today, the Astros announced that they have signed outfielder Trevor Crowe, LHP Sergio Escalona, and RHPs Edgar Gonzalez and Jose Valdez to minor league deals with invites to Spring Training.

Crowe, 29 and a former first-round draft pick, figures to be in play for a reserve outfielder role and provides switch-hitting options as a PH in late innings. His last significant major league time came in 2010, when he hit .251/.302/.333 in 122 games for the Indians, providing below replacement-level production. His defensive metrics are poor, as he's consistently scored negatively in both Defensive Runs Saved and UZR, except in Left Field, where his lack of power doesn't play well.

Escalona, Valdez, and Gonzalez should be familiar to Astros fans, as Escalona provided relief work in 2011 (4.04 FIP and 2.27 K/BB). Gonzalez started six games for the Astros last season, posting a 4.17 FIP in 25 innings pitched. Valdez has been a reliever in the Astros system since 2010, and most recently appeared in 12 relief innings in 2012, with a 4.51 FIP and eight walks.

Gonzalez looks to figure in at Middle Relief, the "sixth man" in the rotation, and will likely get a few starts. Escalona and Valdez have a very good shot at bullpen work, particularly Escalona, who pitches southpaw'd.

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