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Dustin Garneau agrees to one-year deal with Astros

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Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports that catcher Dustin Garneau has signed a one-year contract with the Astros. [Update: It’s official.]

Garneau figures to be the backup to an as-yet unknown starting catcher. The Astros are currently without two of their catchers from 2019, Robinson Chirinos and Martín Maldonado, as they are free agents.

Having spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Rockies, Athletics, White Sox, and Angels, Garneau has hit .207/.290/.343 across 381 trips to the plate. Though he showed offensive improvement last year, Garneau is known more for his work behind the plate.

Garneau joins Yasmani Grandal and Travis d'Arnaud as free agent catchers to come off the board so far this offseason.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”