The Houston Astros announced Thursday that they claimed outfielder Alex Presley off waivers from the Minnesota Twins.
Presley, acquired by Minnesota late last season in a trade with Pittsburgh for Justin Morneau, spent the final month of the 2013 season with the Twins and batted .283 with 11 RBI in 28 games. He previously spent parts of four major league seasons with the Pirates.
Thinking it was a two-man race for the starting center field job, Presley was confident earlier in camp about his chances of securing the job.
The 28-year-old Presley came into spring training fighting for the Twins’ starting center field opening, but Aaron Hicks eventually emerged as the frontrunner for that spot. Still, it seemed likely that Presley would break camp with Minnesota as the team’s fourth outfielder, meaning Thursday’s news came as a bit of a surprise. With Presley no longer in the Twins’ outfield picture, Minnesota’s options for backup center fielders are thin.
Twins outright Diamond, Parmelee: In addition to the Presley news, Minnesota also announced it outrighted left-hander Scott Diamond and first baseman/outfielder Chris Parmelee after both players cleared waivers. They will report to Triple-A Rochester.
Diamond was in the running to compete for the No. 5 starter job in the rotation, but Kyle Gibson eventually won that spot. Instead of keeping Diamond in the bullpen, the Twins placed him on waivers. After winning 12 games in 2012 as Minnesota’s best starter, Diamond went 6-13 with a 5.43 ERA in 24 starts in 2013.
Parmelee had a chance to earn a roster spot as a backup first baseman and outfielder. The 26-year-old hit just .228 with 24 RBI and eight homers in 101 games last year. He was impressive as a September call-up in 2011, batting .355 with four homers in 21 games. But his numbers in each of the past two seasons haven’t come close to what he did in 2011.