HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros announced today that the club has acquired infielder Jed Lowrie and right-handed pitcher Kyle Weiland from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Mark Melancon. To make room for Lowrie and Weiland on the 40-man roster, the club designated infielder Brian Bixler for assignment. The announcement was made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.
"We're extremely excited to have Jed and Kyle as part of our club," Luhnow said. "They fill two significant needs for the Major League club, which are shortstop and pitching depth. Both are talented young players that we feel have the chance to help us."
Lowrie, 27, hit .252 (78x309) with six home runs and 36 RBI in 88 games for the Red Sox last season. Lowrie, a switch-hitter, played every infield position in 2011, making 46 starts at shortstop and 29 at third base. He's played in parts of four seasons with Boston (2008-11), appearing primarily as a shortstop, including 130 starts at the position. Lowrie, a supplemental first-round selection by Boston in 2005 (45th pick overall), is a career .252 (204x808) Major League hitter with 19 home runs and 117 RBI.
Weiland, 25, spent most of 2011 at Triple A Pawtucket, compiling an 8-10 record and a 3.58 ERA (51ER/128.1IP) in 24 starts. He struck out 126 hitters in 128.1 innings pitched, while allowing a .232 opponent's batting average. He also made his Major League debut with the Red Sox, appearing in seven games (five starts) while going 0-3 with a 7.66 ERA (21ER/24.2IP). Weiland was originally a third-round selection in the 2008 draft.
Melancon, 26, went 8-4 with 20 saves and a 2.78 ERA (23ER/74.1IP) in 71 appearances for the Astros this season. Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes were acquired by Houston from the New York Yankees on July 31, 2010, in exchange for infielder Lance Berkman.
"Mark did a great job in his time with Houston," said Luhnow. "He was a significant member of the Astros bullpen and we wish him the best in his career."
Bixler, 29, was acquired by Houston off waivers from Washington on November 3, 2011. He appeared in 79 games for the Nationals in 2011, hitting .205 (17x83) with a double, two triples and two RBI. Bixler also played in 25 games for Triple A Syracuse and posted a .314 average (27x86) with five doubles, a homer and six RBI.