The Houston Astros have added former big league outfielder Anthony Gose, hoping he can develop as a left-handed pitcher.
The World Series champions took Gose from the Texas Rangers’ minor league system Thursday in the annual winter meeting draft of players left off 40-man rosters.
Now 27, Gose began pitching last season in the minors for Detroit. He was 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA in 11 relief appearances in the Class A Florida State League, striking out 14 in 10.2 innings.
The speedy Gose hit .240 in five seasons with Toronto and Detroit. Texas signed him to a minor league contract two weeks ago, offering him a chance to pitch and play the outfield.
“We thought he had the best stuff of anyone in the draft,” Astros pro scouting director Kevin Goldstein said. “He throws in the upper 90s and has a power breaking ball.”
“We know we’re putting our chips on red 23,” he said in a roulette reference, “but there could be a good payoff.”
The Astros paid $100,000 to pluck Gose in the Rule 5 draft. He must stay on the major league roster all season and be active for at least 90 days, or be offered back to Texas for $50,000.
Around the horn
Stephen Piscotty has been traded by the Cardinals to the Athletics for two infield prospects, allowing the outfielder to be near his family’s home in Pleasanton, California, following his mother’s diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Gretchen Piscotty was diagnosed in May with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that attacks nerve cells. He left the Cardinals for five days after the diagnosis and returned May 31.
St. Louis receives Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.
... Former Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney and the Twins reportedly agreed to a $4.5 million, one-year contract.
... Side-arming reliever Steve Cishek and the Cubs reportedly agreed to a two-year contract.
... Reliever Luke Gregerson and the Cardinals finalized an $11 million, two-year contract.
RHP Gregerson, 33, will have salaries of $5 million in each of the next two seasons, and St. Louis has a $5 million option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.
Gregerson was 2-3 with a 4.57 ERA this year for the Astros.