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Astros sign trio of Minor Leaguers

Astros sign trio of Minor Leaguers

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Astros announced Friday they had agreed to terms with right-handers Matt Nevarez and Henry Villar and infielder Jose Vallejo on one-year contracts, with the corresponding Major League values worth $400,000.

Nevarez, 22, went 2-4 with a 2.28 ERA in 42 relief appearances combined between Class A Hickory and Class A Lexington in 2009. He was acquired, along with Vallejo, on Aug. 18 of last season from Texas as part of the trade that sent catcher Ivan Rodriguez to the Rangers.

After his acquisition, Nevarez appeared in eight games for Lexington and did not allow a run or a walk and struck out 13 in 8 1/3 innings. Nevarez is 8-7 with a 2.96 ERA in 69 Minor League appearances, including 10 starts.

Vallejo, 23, hit .250 with 38 RBIs and 10 steals in 111 games combined with Double-A Frisco, Triple-A Oklahoma City and Triple-A Round Rock in 2009. After being acquired, he hit .350 in seven games for Round Rock. Vallejo is a career .262 hitter with 18 home runs and 228 RBIs in 610 Minor League games.

Villar, 22, was 3-4 with five saves and a 2.93 ERA in 43 games, including three starts, with Lexington last season. He led all Lexington relievers with 109 strikeouts and walked only 18 batters in 90 innings. Villar has a career 11-15 Minor League record with a 2.93 ERA in 82 games (36 starts) since 2006.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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