Philip Humber turned a strong spring training into a job with the Astros, but then went 0-8 with a 7.90 ERA in 55 innings split between the rotation and bullpen. Not surprisingly the Astros have decided to decline his $3 million option for next season, giving him a $500,000 buyout that makes him a free agent.
It seems like a distant memory now, but Humber threw a perfect game on April 21, 2012. Since then he’s been perhaps the worst pitcher in baseball, throwing 142 innings with a 7.59 ERA while being let go by the White Sox and Astros.
And now at age 30 there’s a decent chance he’ll never pitch in the big leagues again.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.