I'd been hearing rumors about this, but didn't have the stones (that's funny, because I'm listening to Sticky Fingers right now. But you're not in the same room as I, so this part is just a waste of your time) to write anything about it.
The Astros have signed Padres pitcher Josh Banks to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
Banks, a RHP who will be 28 in July, was a 2003 2nd-round pick by the Blue Jays, where he spent part of the 2007 season (another Arnsberg arm). He was released in April 2008 and picked up off waivers by the Padres, where he spent parts of two seasons, compiling a 4-7 record with a 5.25 ERA / 1.48 WHIP in 23 games (17 starts).
Banks was 1-5 last season in six starts for the Padres with his one win coming against, of course, the Astros.
In Triple-A Portland last year, Banks was 7-7 with a 3.46 ERA / 1.25 WHIP.
And now we have some reaction. Take it away, Ricky Bennett:
He had pretty good numbers last year in Triple-A Portland and is another quality arm we feel we can add to our depth. He will be in big league camp and will be competing for a spot in the rotation, and we'll try to get him innings out of the bullpen as the long guy. Once we get to camp and he has a couple of innings under his belt, we'll try to stretch him out and see how he fits...
..."We were having conversations with Banks all along knowing in the back of our minds that Sadowski may choose to go to Japan, and that's actually what happened. We knew going into it that it was a possibility. We went ahead and signed him in the event that it worked itself out, but it wasn't a surprise for us."
Ryan Sadowski, as you may recall, was reported to have signed with a team in Korea. Now I guess it's Japan.