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Astros lose Zeid to Tigers on waiver claim

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- The reminder that baseball is a business smacked relief pitcher Josh Zeid in the face on Thursday when the Tigers claimed the right-handed relief pitcher on waivers.

Zeid and his wife, Stephanie, a neuropsychologist in Houston's famed medical center, had just purchased their first home in the Houston area after Zeid had appeared in 48 games with the Astros over the past couple of years. The house will remain, but Zeid is headed to Detroit.

HOUSTON -- The reminder that baseball is a business smacked relief pitcher Josh Zeid in the face on Thursday when the Tigers claimed the right-handed relief pitcher on waivers.

Zeid and his wife, Stephanie, a neuropsychologist in Houston's famed medical center, had just purchased their first home in the Houston area after Zeid had appeared in 48 games with the Astros over the past couple of years. The house will remain, but Zeid is headed to Detroit.

"I'm extremely excited to be going to a team that wants me, I guess you could say," Zeid said. "I know they have a rich history of playoff experience. Honestly, I'm going to look forward to trying to make the club out of Spring Training. Whether that happens from Day 1 or Day 100, I'm going to go work and try to rehab back from the [injuries to my feet] and try to be the best I can be. I know I can be a quality Major League Baseball player, and I know the Detroit Tigers think I can be a big help to the team."

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said the team was hoping to get Zeid through waivers and keep him in the organization, but he wasn't shocked someone took a flier on the 27-year-old. Zeid is reunited with Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who managed him with Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic in 2013.

"Zeid has proven he can pitch at the Major League level, and we're in a situation right now where we took a gamble and he's going to be somewhere else," Luhnow said.

Zeid said Ausmus called him shortly after he was claimed by the Tigers, and the new Detroit pitcher said he looks forward to working with his new manager.

"I'm going to give him 150 percent of everything I can bring to the table, and I'm just ready to take it to the next step," Zeid said. "The Astros were extremely incredible, and I'm extremely thankful that they gave me the opportunity to make my first Major League callup. As a reliever, they say you might make 10 different teams in your career, and I'm looking forward to the whole journey."

Zeid, acquired by Houston three years ago in the Hunter Pence trade, had a nice rookie season in 2013 before struggling this past season. Working mostly in middle relief, he gave up 16 earned runs on 30 hits over 20 2/3 innings, covering 23 appearances, with seven walks and 18 strikeouts. Most of that damage came in a month-long stretch from the end of June through July, in which he gave up 10 earned runs on 14 hits -- three of them home runs -- over 6 2/3 innings.

Zeid then went on the disabled list with lingering injuries that led to surgeries on both of his feet, keeping him out of the rest of the season. He's expected to be ready for Spring Training.

"I got out of my boot on Tuesday this past week, and all I have to look forward to is getting better and better every day from here to Spring Training," Zeid said. "I'm really excited. You take for granted having the use of both of your feet, and I'll never do that again. I'm pretty excited for the things to come."

Zeid said Houston will always be special, and it will always be home.

"Obviously, I'm going to miss Houston," he said. "The fans here have been amazing. The community has been fantastic. Baseball is business. I understand that. We understand that. I'm just completely thankful we have another job and I have another opportunity to make another Major League ballclub, and [Stephanie is] completely supportive of that. I'm so lucky to have her, in that she's so supportive of me."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

 

Houston Astros, Josh Zeid