Nate Freiman appears to be inching his way back into the Padres organization.
When the Houston Astros drafted the young first basemen in last month’s Rule 5 Draft, they did so with the hope he would fill-in the gaping need at designated hitter, or be the answer at first base.
But as usually is the case in Major League Baseball, things change. And now Freiman may have to fight his way on the Astros’ roster.
On Monday, the Astros added some punch to their lineup by signing veteran slugger Carlos Pena to a one-year contract, according to Richard Dean of Astros.com. Pena is now projected to be the Astros’ designated hitter.
Apparently, the ‘Stros aren’t done yet.
MLB Traderumors.com speculates that Lance Berkman is open to the idea of returning to his old club. If the Astros do sign the 36-year-old Berkman, he would either platoon at first base or be the designated hitter.
Not to mention Brett Wallace is still in the mix at first base for the Astros.
All this tells me there really isn’t any room for Freiman on the Astros’ roster. Come Spring Training, Freiman could be in the outside looking in and possibly be returned to the Padres.
Freiman had a triple slash line of .298/.370/.502 with Double-A San Antonio last year. He also posted 24 home runs with 105 RBIs.
If Freiman returnd to the Padres, it would be a long shot for him to crack the Major League roster because Yonder Alonso stands in his way.
Freiman would be a great insurance policy for the Padres if Alonso were to go down with an injury.