HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Backe to a one-year, $545,000 contract, plus incentives. The announcement was made by General Manager Tim Purpura.
Backe, 28, finished 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA (18ER/43IP) in eight starts for the Astros in 2006. Backe was 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA (7ER/26IP) in four August starts before being placed on the Disabled List on August 19 with a right elbow sprain. He underwent successful surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his right elbow on September 7.
Backe is 17-12 in 42 career starts (all with Houston) with a 4.44 ERA (116ER/235.1IP). He is 18-13 overall since being acquired by the Astros from Tampa Bay in exchange for Geoff Blum on December 14, 2003. In 104 career Major League appearances (42 starts) with Houston (2004-06) and Tampa Bay (2002-03), Backe is 19-14 with a 4.71 ERA (166ER/317IP) and one complete game.
The Astros are 24-17-1 (.571) in games started by Backe, dating back to his first career start on August 21, 2004 against the Chicago Cubs. In seven career postseason games (six starts), he is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA (12ER/36.2IP) and has thrown seven or more shutout innings in two playoff games.