Blue Jays: Houston Astros claim Matt Gage off of release waivers
The Houston Astros have announced on Twitter that they have claimed left-handed reliever Matt Gage off of waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Gage, 29, had been placed on release waivers back on February 6th. Today was the last day he was able to be claimed by other clubs before he was officially released and - unsurprisingly - there was a team interested in bringing him aboard.
After being designated for assignment to make room for newly-signed reliever Chad Green, Gage was placed directly on release waivers instead of the traditional outright waivers, a move that is still a confusing one.
There was speculation that perhaps Gage had interest from a club overseas and requested his release, but this move by the Astros says that there must've been something the Jays front office saw that prompted them to cut bait.
Gage has limited experience on a big league mound but his first 11 appearances and 13 innings in The Show were good ones. After debuting last season as a 29-year-old, he struck out 12 batters and allowed just two earned runs along the way.
Players are designated for assignment all the time in Major League Baseball but Gage's case will remain a headscratcher. Prior to his being let go, he was one of only three left-handed pitchers on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster and was one of two relief pitchers.
Tim Mayza will move forward as the lone left-handed relief pitcher the Jays have while Yusei Kikuchi is currently the top candidate to begin the regular season in the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.
With the addition of Gage, the Astros' 40-man roster is now full. He will be going from one lefty-hungry club to another, as he is going to be just the fourth left-hander on Houston's 40-man alongside Framber Valdez, Blake Taylor and Parker Mushinski.