Houston Astros agree with pitcher Hector Rondon on two-year deal

By The Sports Xchange  |  Dec. 15, 2017 at 6:24 PM
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The Houston Astros agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free agent right-handed reliever Hector Rondon, the team announced Friday.

Though terms of the deal were not announced, the 29-year-old Rondon was expected to command in the neighborhood of $4.5 million to $5 million annually, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Rondon, 29, spent his five seasons in the major leagues as a member of the Chicago Cubs' bullpen, where he posted an 18-13 record with a 3.22 ERA over 296 1/3 innings, and 77 saves and 303 strikeouts.

Last season, Rondon struck out 69 batters in 57 1/3 innings, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA and a career-high 10.83 strikeouts per 9.0 innings. The Venezuelan native, who has consistently been one of the hardest-throwing relievers in the majors, posted an average fastball velocity of 96.8 mph last season.

Rondon has been effective against both right-handed and left-handed hitters throughout his career, holding righties to a .223 batting average and lefties to a .232 average.

The Astros also announced they designated outfielder Preston Tucker for assignment.

Tucker, 27, played in 146 games with the Astros from 2015-16, hitting 27 doubles and 17 home runs with 41 RBIs. A seventh-round pick by the Astros in the 2012 draft, Tucker spent all of last season at Triple-A Fresno.

With the addition of Rondon and the removal of Tucker, the Astros 40-man roster remains full at 40.

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