The Houston Astros signed free agent Travis Buck to a minor-league contract on Wednesday, thus ending his brief tenure with the Cleveland Indians.
Buck, who turns 28 next week, signed a minor-league deal with the Indians last December and won a spot on the Opening Day roster. He hit .228/.275/.347 with two homers, 18 RBI, and 18 runs scored in 50 games with the Indians, then was designated for assignment in July after the Kosuke Fukudome trade. He spent the remainder of the season with Triple-A Columbus, hitting .256/.366/.421 with 4 homers and 25 RBI in 36 games.
A former top prospect—before the 2007 season, Baseball America ranked him the 50th-best prospect in baseball, and the best in the Athletics’ system—he raked in the minor leagues to the tune of a .303/.384/.465 triple-slash in 312 MiLB games. He’s had trouble replicating that success in the big leagues, as evidenced by his .246/.320/.406 career line.
It seemed unlikely that Buck would be back with the Indians in 2012, but this makes it official. Hopefully he’ll have more success in Houston than he did in Cleveland and Oakland.