Diaz signed a minor-league contract with the Astros on Monday, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports. Diaz became a free agent July 21 after being designated for assignment by the Rays, and his MLB experience apparently created some intrigue in the Houston front office. He'll report to Triple-A Fresno at first, although he could find his way to the majors to provide bullpen depth if his performance with the Grizzlies warrants it.
Diaz has cleared waivers and elected free agency, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Diaz holds a 5.70 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 15 walks in 30 innings with the Rays this year, but he may soon find a club that needs mopup work. After all, the 33-year-old has useful seasons in 2014 and 2016 to his name.
Diaz was designated for assignment Sunday. The 33-year-old has struggled through 30 appearances this season, amassing a 5.46 ERA across 29.2 innings of work. Sunday's move comes on the heels of Diaz throwing just eight pitches earlier in the day against the Angels. He entered in the eighth inning and gave up a hit, putting a runner on that would subsequently score on a two-run homer by C.J. Cron off of Adam Kolarek, who relieved Diaz midway through the eighth. In a corresponding move, the Rays selected the contract of right-hander Andrew Kittredge from Triple-A Durham.
Diaz gave up four earned runs on five hits over two innings in Saturday's 8-3 loss to the Orioles. He struck out two. Diaz surrendered a two-run shot to Trey Mancini and let in two additional runs, snapping a four-appearance scoreless streak. That stretch had equaled his longest of the season without allowing a run, as the veteran reliever continues to primarily pitch to contact. Factoring in Saturday's outing, he's sporting an unsightly 5.61 ERA and 1.68 WHIP.
Diaz fired 1.1 scoreless innings in Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers, allowing one hit and recording a strikeout. The 33-year-old right-hander has looked good since coming off the disabled list with a forearm injury, posting two scoreless outings in which he's allowed two hits over 2.1 innings. Diaz endured a rough May before getting injured, but his efforts since returning provide reason to believe that he can revert to his early-season form.
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