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.
Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.
Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.
Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.