The Astros had no real use for Ben Francisco after acquiring him from the Blue Jays in last month’s 10-player deal, so they moved him right along Friday, sending him to Tampa Bay for a player to be named.
Francisco played in 31 games in his six weeks with the Astros and hit .247/.289/.365 in 85 at-bats. That’s more action that he saw in 3 1/2 months with the Jays earlier this season, as he hit .240/.296/.380 in 50 at-bats for Toronto.
Francisco will likely go back to seeing less playing time in Tampa Bay. He doesn’t have much of a platoon split, so he’s only so useful as a starter against lefties. Still, as a fifth outfielder who can play pretty good defense in the corners, he’s worth the roster spot.
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.