Left-hander Travis Blackley has been traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Houston Astros, according to an announcement from the A’s late this afternoon. Oakland will receive minor league outfielder Jake Goebbert in return.
Blackley, 30, is an Australia native who originally signed as an amateur free agent with the Seattle Mariners back in 2000. He’d first appear in the Majors in 2004, making 6 starts for the Mariners with some dismal results (10.04 ERA, 2.192 WHIP, 3.1 HR/9). He’d bounce around over the next few seasons, pitching in five different organizations before signing a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants a little over a year ago. Blackley would enjoy a bounceback season in 2012, spending the better part of the year in the Major Leagues. Combined between the Giants and A’s, who’d claim him off of waivers in mid-May, he’d throw 107.2 IP on the season, posting a 6-4 record with a 4.10 ERA and 1.207 WHIP in 26 appearances (15 starts).
Houston intends to use Blackley in long relief, according to details passed along by MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. McTaggart spoke with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow regarding the acquisition:
He’s a left-handed long man, which is something we’ve been trying to figure out how to work into our roster. He had a lot of success as a starter and we believe that will translate well into our bullpen. We did have our scouts see him this Spring and there was a long list of players that became available as the season started when everybody cut down to 25 [players]. He was at the top of our list, and we made a few phone calls and got it done.
Blackley is expected to be in uniform Friday for the Astros, who’ll need to make another roster move in order to clear a spot before their game Friday night, against the A’s of course.
Goebbert, 25, has spent the better part of the past two seasons at Double-A, where he’s hit a combined .305/.386/.466 in 737 PA. He’s seem some limited time at Triple-A, where he was scheduled to begin this season, but has struggled at the plate (.250/.325/.360, 152 PA).