Astros Sign Xavier Hernandez
Jan. 26, 1999
HOUSTON (AP) _ Reliever Xavier Hernandez, whose contract with Baltimore was voided after he failed a physical, agreed Monday to a one-year deal with the Houston Astros.
Hernandez will begin his third stint with the Astros, for whom he last pitched in 1996. The 33-year-old right-hander spent last season with the Texas Rangers, going 6-6 with one save and a 3.57 ERA.
Hernandez agreed earlier to a two-year deal with the Orioles, but that was wiped out when he did not pass a physical conducted by Baltimore's medical staff. The Orioles were concerned about Hernandez's right shoulder.
``We've evaluated the situation, and we feel comfortable moving forward,'' Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker said Monday.
``We feel like `X' will be a great addition, and his experience and the success he's enjoyed will be welcomed in a somewhat inexperienced bullpen. He always takes the ball and gives you everything he's got. He's definitely going to add something to our chemistry,'' Hunsicker said.
He joins a bullpen that is expected to consist also of closer Billy Wagner, setup men Jay Powell and Doug Henry and left-hander Trever Miller.
That means at least one spot will be up for grabs when the NL Central champions report to spring training Feb. 17 in Kissimmee, Fla.