Astros sign ex-Blue Jays RP Joe Smith: Winter meetings roundup

​Former Blue Jays relief pitcher Joe Smith and the World Series champion Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year contract worth $15 million US. The 33-year-old had 71 strikeouts over 54 innings last season, split between Toronto and Cleveland.

Cardinals deal OF Stephen Piscotty to A's after mother diagnosed with ALS

The Astros have signed former Blue Jays reliever Joe Smith to a two-year deal worth $15 million US. Smith posted a 3.28 ERA in 38 games with Toronto last season while striking out 51 over 35 2/3 innings. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images/File)

​Right-hander Joe Smith and the World Series champion Houston Astros have agreed to a two-year contract worth $15 million US.

The 33-year-old gets $7 million next year and $8 million in 2019.

He was 3-0 with one save and 71 strikeouts over 54 innings in 59 relief appearances last season for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians, who re-acquired him for a pair of minor leaguers at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Smith pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings over four games in the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.

Smith is 44-28 with a 2.97 ERA in 698 relief appearances over 11 big league seasons that also included time with the New York Mets (2007-08), Cleveland (2009-13), Los Angeles Angels (2014-16) and Chicago Cubs (2016).

His deal was announced Wednesday at the winter meetings in Orlando, Fla., and Smith was to be introduced at a news conference Thursday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Piscotty traded to Athletics

Stephen Piscotty has been traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Oakland Athletics for two infield prospects, allowing the outfielder to be near his family's home in Pleasanton, Calif., 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 in the deal announced Thursday.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 in 107 games last season with nine homers and 39 runs batted in, spending stretches on the disabled list because of a strained hamstring and groin. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2 1/2 major league seasons. In May, he agreed to a six-year, $33.5-million contract.

Rodney joins Twins: report

A person familiar with the negotiations says reliever Fernando Rodney and the Minnesota Twins have agreed to a one-year, $4.5-million US contract.

Rodney turns 41 on March 18 and will be in his 16th major league season. The right-hander had 39 saves in 45 chances this year for Arizona. He was 5-4 with a 4.23 earned-run average, striking out 65 and walking 26 in 55 1/3 innings.

A three-time all-star, Rodney is 44-63 with 300 saves in 828 relief appearances for Detroit (2002-03 and 2005-09), Los Angeles Angels (2010-11), Tampa Bay (2012-13), Seattle (2014-15), Chicago Cubs (2015), San Diego (2016), Miami (2016) and Arizona.

Astros draft ex-Blue Jay Gose

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 earned-run average in 11 relief appearances in the Class A Florida State League, striking out 14 in 10 2/3 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.

Gregerson to Cardinals for 2 years

Reliever Luke Gregerson and the St. Louis Cardinals have finalized a two-year, $11-million US contract.

A 33-year-old right-hander, Gregerson 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. The option year would become guaranteed at $6 million if Gregerson pitches in 60 games in 2019 or 130 games in 2018-19 combined.

He can earn an additional $1 million annually in performance bonuses based on games finished.

Gregerson was 2-3 with a career-high 4.57 earned-run average and 70 strikeouts in 61 innings this year for the World Series champion Houston Astros, giving up a career-worst 13 home runs. He did not allow a run in five post-season games.


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