Astros sign Thatcher to minors deal

Houston, TX ( – The Houston Astros signed reliever Joe
Thatcher to a minor league contract on Friday.

Thatcher, 33, made a combined 53 appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks
and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last season. The Angels acquired him in July
to boost their bullpen, but he finished with an 8.53 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.

The left-hander pitched six-plus years for the San Diego Padres before being
dealt to the Diamondbacks on July 31, 2013. He has a 3.40 ERA in 238 career
innings while holding left-handed batters to a .230 average.