Astros sign reliever Joe Thatcher

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Houston has signed left-hander Joe Thatcher to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Thatcher struggled for the Angels at the end of last season, but was previously very effective for the Padres and Diamondbacks. He has a 3.40 ERA in 238 career innings while holding lefties to a .230 batting average and he’s also been effective enough versus righties to avoid being strictly a southpaw specialist.

Thatcher will make $1 million in guaranteed money if he cracks the Opening Day bullpen.