Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

BREAKING: Houston Astros Sign Jesse Crain

The Houston Astros announced they have signed RP Jesse Crain to a contract. Evan Drellich (Houston Chronicle) was the first to tease us.

Just 4 minutes later he tuned us in and added Astros GM Jeff Luhnow’s statement.

Crain, 32, has had a successful career in 10 seasons (3.05 ERA), all in the American League. Crain spent his first seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, and was Joe Nathan‘s set-up man for much of his time there. Crain spent his past 2.5 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, where he continued as one of the best relief pitchers in the game. In 2011, his first season with the White Sox, Crain had a 2.62 ERA. That ERA dropped in his second season with the White Sox to 2.44. In 2013, Crain saw his ERA drop to a minuscule 0.74 ERA in 36.2 innings.

Crain hit the disabled midway through the season with shoulder problems and was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays at the trade deadline. His shoulder issues ended up cutting his season short and he never ended up pitching for the Rays. Crain’s early 2013 numbers were easily strong enough to make him an AL All-Star.

With Crain on board, the Astros now have a pretty strong bullpen intact. Crain is the early favorite to land the closers gig, with Chad Qualls and Matt Albers likely handling the 7th and 8th inning roles. The bullpen may now be considered one of the Astros strengths, as young relievers such as Kevin Chapman, Josh Fields, and Josh Zeid showed promise last season as well.

 

Other Information On The Crain Signing

 

 

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