Kissimmee, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros claimed outfielder Alex Presley off waivers from the Minnesota Twins Thursday in an effort to bolster their bench depth for the upcoming season.
Presley hit .276 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 57 games between the Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates last season, but lost a battle with Aaron Hicks for Minnesota's starting center field job after batting just .189 this spring and was out of minor league options.
The 27-year-old owns a .264 average with 17 homers, 60 RBI and 20 stolen bases over 232 career major league games, most of which came with the Pirates. Presley hit 10 homers in 104 games with Pittsburgh in 2012.
To make room on the active roster, the Astros designated veteran reliever Raul Valdes for assignment.
The 36-year-old Valdes failed to win a bullpen spot this spring despite allowing just one run over 5 1/3 innings.