Astros rumors: Julio Borbon claimed by Cubs

Ronald Martinez

The much-discussed former Texas outfielder was placed on outright waivers Wednesday but was not claimed by the Astros, as expected. Instead, he'll join the Chicago Cubs.

Let the fan joy or consternation commence!

Those are the two camps breaking down after the Houston Astros decided not to use their No. 1 waiver wire priority to snag outfielder Julio Borbon. The 27-year old was placed on waivers Wednesday, after being designated for assignment by Texas.

The Rangers tried to trade Borbon, but couldn't come up with any sort of package that helped them, so they placed him on waivers instead. Borbon made it past Houston's top priority, but was quickly snapped up by the Chicago Cubs at No. 2. Borbon has hit .283/.324/.358 over four seasons with the Rangers. He accumulated 746 career plate appearances over those seasons, but only had over 200 plate appearances in the majors once, in 2010. Borbon is known as a defensive whiz, earning 8.6 Fielding Rusn in 2010, and also bring some speed, swiping 40 bases in 53 career attempts.

Houston is already facing a roster crunch with Fernando Martinez set to return from his injury any day. While Borbon may be an upgrade over J.D. Martinez, there's no proof that he could give Houston more than Brandon Barnes has in his limited playing time in the majors.

The Astros only have 24 players on its 25-man roster currently after designating Xavier Cedeno for assignment in order to call Brandon Laird up to the majors. They will make a roster move to bring up a pitcher this weekend, according to comments made by Jeff Luhnow, but no move has been made as of this afternoon.

What do you think? Are you a Barnes/J.D. hater and are unhappy Borbon didn't replace one of them? Are you happy Houston passed on another failed prospect in its outfield? Or, are you somewhere in between?

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