On Wednesday, Houston worked on shoring up its bullpen once more, trading with the San Diego Padres for right-handed pitcher Anthony Bass. made 24 appearances, pitching 42.0 innings, across four stints out of the Padres bullpen in 2013. He also spent three months at Triple A Tucson and made 15 starts for the Tucson Padres. Bass has pitched in parts of three Major League seasons (2011-13), all coming with San Diego, and owns a career 4.08 ERA (85ER/187.1IP) in 75 appearances, including 18 starts.
In his career, Bass has bounced between the rotation and the bullpen, so he could fit a swingman role that the Astros prefer and used at times last season with Erik Bedard and others. Bass features three pitches, including a fastball in the lower 90s, a slider and a changeup. Given Houston's reliance on the changeup as a pitching philosophy, he may go back to using it 15 percent of the time as he did in 2012, when he had his most successful MLB season.
The players to be named are most likely Rule 5 eligible prospects who may or may not be taken in Thursday's draft. If they are taken, they'll get cash instead. If not, the team loses the prospect anyway. So, this is the Astros getting something for what might be nothing.
This is not a huge move for Houston, but it does give the Astros another proven, big league arm in a bullpen that was racked with inexperience and awfulness in 2013. Bass' addition moves Houston's 40-man roster to 38. The Astros are also pushing hard to sign Jose Veras on Wednesday, giving them a third new bullpen arm to bolster one of the club's big weaknesses in 2013.
#Astros continue to push hard for RHP Jose Veras and could get a deal done later today.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 11, 2013