Astros acquire catcher Hank Conger from Angels

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Once upon a time Hank Conger was viewed as the Angels’ long-term answer behind the plate, but the 2006 first-round draft pick never emerged as more than a backup for manager Mike Scioscia and now they’ve traded him to the Astros.

Chris Iannetta’s presence as a full-time catcher allows the Angels to painlessly part ways with Conger and in return they get catcher Carlos Perez and right-hander Nick Tropeano.

Tropeano made his MLB debut in September, starting four games for the Astros after tossing 125 innings with a 3.03 ERA and 120/33 K/BB ratio at Triple-A as a 23-year-old. He has the potential be a middle-of-the-rotation starter, but may wind up in the bullpen.

Perez is 24 years old and has spent the past two seasons at Triple-A, hitting .264 with eight homers and a .692 OPS. He looks like a backup at most.

And that’s really all Conger looks to be at this point, despite some good numbers in the minors. He’ll turn 27 years old in January and has played 251 games in the majors, hitting just .224 with a .648 OPS. He has some power and can draw a walk, which along with good pitch-framing numbers is no doubt why the Astros felt like taking a flier on him.

Report: Mets and Rick Porcello agree on one-year, $10 million pact

Rick Porcello
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Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris of The Athletic report that the Mets and free agent starter Rick Porcello have agreed on a one-year contract. Per Jon Heyman, the deal is for $10 million.

Porcello, 30, is coming off of the worst season of his career. Though he went 14-12, he compiled an ugly 5.52 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 45 walks over 174 1/3 innings. It has been a rough three years for Porcello, who has an aggregate 4.79 ERA since 2017.

The benefit of this one-year deal for Porcello is that, if he has a bounce-back season, he can potentially leverage that into a multi-year contract next offseason.

The Mets also signed Michael Wacha to a one-year, $3 million deal on Wednesday. The rotation already features Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz. Unless the Mets trade one of those four, they will seemingly have to use one of Porcello and Wacha out of the bullpen to start the 2020 season with the odd man out serving as rotation insurance.

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