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Astros sign Zach Duke to minor-league deal

Jan 27, 2012, 2:45 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

Zach Duke, who spent last season with the Diamondbacks, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Astros.

Duke was once considered a top prospect for the Pirates, but had a 4.54 ERA over six seasons in Pittsburgh before being traded to Arizona last offseason.

He posted a 4.93 ERA in 77 innings split between the rotation and bullpen, but missed time with a broken hand and struck out a measly 3.8 batters per nine innings. Not surprisingly the Diamondbacks declined his $5.5 million option for 2012, paying Duke a $750,000 buyout instead.

Houston can certainly use plenty of pitching depth, but barring the Astros trading a veteran starter he’ll probably be competing for a long relief gig.

  1. yettyskills - Jan 27, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    How many 10th-15th round picks have I wasted on you over the years?
    3 at least

  2. jkaflagg - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Left handed and breathing…….Always good for a minor league contract and spring training invite……

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