Vogelsong makes free-agent stop in Houston

Vogelsong makes free-agent stop in Houston

HOUSTON -- Free-agent pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who is in contract discussions with the Astros, arrived in Houston on Monday. That's a clear sign that Vogelsong may be poised to take a physical prior to potentially signing a deal.

Vogelsong, when contacted by MLB.com late Monday, declined to comment, but the veteran right-hander has been on the Astros' radar in recent days. General manager Jeff Luhnow said earlier on Monday that the club would still like to add a starting pitcher.

Vogelsong went 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA in 32 starts for the World Series champion Giants last year. He has a career 49-57 record with a 4.42 ERA in 10 Major League seasons with the Pirates and two stints with the Giants. Vogelsong's best year was in 2011 when he made the All-Star team in a season in which he finished 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA for the Giants.

The 2011 season was Vogelsong's first in the Majors since 2006. In between, he played in Japan and had Minor League deals with the Phillies and Angels before resurfacing with the Giants. He was 14-9 with a 3.37 ERA for the Giants in 2012.

If the Astros are able to close the deal with Vogelsong, it would be their latest addition to a busy offseason that has included the signing of relievers Pat Neshek and Luke Gregerson and shortstop Jed Lowrie, as well as trades to bring in slugger Evan Gattis from the Braves and Monday's trade that netted infielder Luis Valbuena and pitcher Dan Straily from the Cubs.

The Astros are set with Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh at the top of the rotation, and lefty Brett Oberholtzer has the inside track for the fourth spot. Straily was brought to compete for a rotation spot, but Vogelsong would figure into the Astros' rotation plans in some form.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.