Aha! Now we have some tranzactionz of which we can speak, so let's see where we are now:
Outrighted off the 40-Man Roster:
Cody Clark, Phil Humber, Brandon Laird, Matt Pagnozzi
Added to the 40-Man Roster:
Jon Singleton, Raul Valdes
Declining Phil Humber's 2014 option will be probably the easiest move The Law Offices of Jeff Luhnow will make all off-season. The choice was, (a) Buy Humber out for $500,000 or (b) give him $3m to pitch in 2014. Seeing as how Humber posted a 7.90 ERA/1.74 WHIP in 54.2IP, allowing batters to hit .322/.375/.575. Humber made 17 appearances (seven starts) for the 2013 Astros, and had just two in which he didn't allow a run. The Astros were 1-16 in games Humber pitched.
It will be interesting to see if the Astros bring him back as a potential bullpen arm wait wait wait let me try to explain. Righties hit .189/.289/.349 (albeit with an insanely low .205 BABIP) against Humber, and his 7.90 ERA is a little misleading, since his FIP is 5.02 and xFIP is 4.61. Those aren't great numbers by any means, but if Humber can come in as a righty specialist, maybe there's some value there. I doubt other teams are lining up to inquire about Humber's services.
Raul Valdes, though, was picked up yesterday as a waiver claim from Philadelphia, Valdes, a 35-year old lefty reliever had the worst season of his four-year career in 2013 (while coming off the best season of his career). In 35IP for the Phillies, Valdes allowed 42H/29ER, 37K:8BB for a 7.46 ERA/1.43 WHIP. But Valdes really only had three bad outings:
April 5 vs. KC: 2IP, 7H/4ER
April 17 @ CIN: 3.1IP, 6H/5ER
And his lone start of the season on July 27 at Detroit in which he threw 3.2IP, giving up 12H/9ER, 3K:0BB.
Valdes is one of those pitchers whose secondary numbers are far better than his traditional stats. While, yes, his ERA was 7.46, his FIP was 4.39 while his xFIP was 3.74. He's probably not as good as his 2012 indicated - the 2.90 ERA (which is close to his 3.03 xFIP) was benefited by a .214 BABIP which regressed so hard in 2013 (.357 BABIP).