The Houston Astros picked up first baseman Nate Freiman from the San Diego Padres in the Rule 5 draft in the offseason, but when the Astros acquired Carlos Pena and Chris Carter, Freiman’s days with the team were numbered.
During Spring Training, Freiman did next to nothing that indicated he was ready for Major League pitching. However, the potential was there. When he did hit, he could hit the ball a mile far. He didn’t strikeout much, but he also didn’t play very much.
The Astros decided to try to sneak him through waivers and trade to keep him in the organization. Maybe he would have been brought up throughout the season. That didn’t happen, and the Oakland Athletics claimed Freiman to essentially replace Carter, who they traded to the Astros.
It is too early to say placing Freiman on waivers was a mistake, but shouldn’t the Astros have at least given him a chance at the Major League level? If it came down to it, they could have placed him on waivers during the season so there is a better chance he doesn’t get claimed.
The Astros had no choice where they were sending him — it just happened to be a division rival. That might become a big mistake during the Astros rebuilding process.
Three games into the season, the Astros have already set records at the plate that no team wants to set. So, that makes it easy to point fingers. With where the Astros are at in their rebuilding process, wouldn’t it make sense to take chance on a guy like Freiman?
Now I’d like to pose a question. As an Astros fan, would you rather have Freiman or Pena? Keep in mind that Freiman is 26-years old and has never been above the Double-A level.
In his Major League debut, Freiman had two hits in three at bats during an A’s win.