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Astros sign Joe Thatcher to a minor league deal

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The Mets were said to have interest in the lefty.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros have agreed to a minor-league contract with lefty reliever Joe Thatcher, according to Chris Cotillo. The Mets were reportedly one of the teams pursuing Thatcher. Thatcher will earn $1 million with the Astros if he makes the major league roster in addition to $2.3 million in available incentives. The 33-year-old can opt out of his contract if he is not on the active roster five days before Opening Day.

Thatcher has been a solid left-handed specialist for several years, though he did struggle with the Angels during the second half of 2014, posting an 8.53 ERA in only 6.1 innings pitched. Still, Thatcher would have been a nice addition to the Mets' bullpen, as Josh Edgin is currently the only lefty among the team's expected Opening Day relief pitchers. If the Mets choose to carry a second left-handed relief pitcher, they might turn to Sean Gilmartin, who they acquired in the Rule 5 draft, or Duane Below, who they recently signed to a minor league deal.