Brian Bixler, a utility man who shuffled between the Washington Nationals and Triple-A, has been claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros, according to the Nationals' PR staff. Bixler played a key bench role at times for Davey Johnson this season, and he will likely help the Astros in several capacities next season.
Bixler hit just .205 on the season, but his fielding versatility was a help to the Nationals. The team used him as a replacement in the outfield, third base, first base and shortstop this season. He played both corner outfield positions, though he spent most of his time in left field.
The Nationals should still have little trouble finding a replacement for Bixler, who turns 29 next season. Johnson has wanted more bench hitting power anyway, so the loss of Bixler is not a big one there.
For more on Bixler and the Washington Nationals, visit Federal Baseball.