Astros Claim Reliever Off of Waivers to Fill Final Roster Spot
With Spring Training set to begin later this week, teams are nearly done filling out their rosters and wrapping up offseason work before camp opens.
The Houston Astros already have one of the best rosters in baseball after winning the World Series last year, but they still had one spot on their 40-man roster available prior to Monday. They've now filled that spot, however, after making a savvy waiver claim.
Astros Roster Move
The Astros will slot left-handed reliever Matt Gage into their final roster spot after claiming him off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
Gage, who just turned 30, finally reached the majors in 2022 after a long and winding journey through the minor leagues. He was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2014 but struggled in the upper levels of the minors, failing to get past Triple-A. He left to pitch in Mexico in 2019 and independent ball in 2020 before returning to the minors in 2021, ultimately making the bigs last year with the Blue Jays -- his fifth organization.
The tall southpaw made the most of his opportunity, flashing a 1.38 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP with 12 strikeouts in 13 innings. While Toronto released him earlier this month to clear a spot for a more established reliever in Chad Green, Houston had an opening and scooped him up to fill it.
The Astros are hopeful that the promise Gage showed in 2022 will carry over into this year. If it does, he could end up playing a prominent role in their bullpen as they try to repeat as World Series champions under manager Dusty Baker.