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Astros protect 5, complete 2 Reds trades

@brianmctaggart
November 20, 2020

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Forrest Whitley, the Astros’ top-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, was among five Minor League players the club added to its 40-man roster ahead of Friday’s deadline to protect players from being selected in the Dec. 10 Rule 5 Draft. The club also added infielder Freudis Nova (Houston's

HOUSTON -- Right-hander Forrest Whitley, the Astros’ top-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, was among five Minor League players the club added to its 40-man roster ahead of Friday’s deadline to protect players from being selected in the Dec. 10 Rule 5 Draft.

The club also added infielder Freudis Nova (Houston's No. 2 prospect), and right-handed pitchers Jairo Solis (No. 8), Tyler Ivey (No. 12) and Peter Solomon (No. 27) to the 40-man roster.

To make room on the 40-man roster for the additions, the Astros outrighted right-hander Rogelio Armenteros, who was claimed by Arizona, and infielder Jack Mayfield, who was claimed by Atlanta. Mayfield appeared in 47 games for Houston in the past two seasons, while Armenteros missed the entire 2020 season while recovering from surgery to remove a bone spur in his throwing elbow.

Meanwhile, the Astros also completed two trades with the Reds on Friday in separate transactions. Right-hander Brandon Bailey, who appeared in five games for Houston last season, was traded to the Reds for cash. Houston also sent right-handed pitcher Fredy Medina to the Reds as the player to be named in the Aug. 9 trade for lefty reliever Brooks Raley.

Here’s more information on the five players added to the 40-man roster on Friday:

• Whitley, 23, is the only Astros player to make MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list (No. 17). In four Minor League seasons (2016-19), he has gone 9-15 with a 4.71 ERA, 95 walks and 289 strikeouts over 197 innings in 57 games (47 starts). Whitley spent the 2020 season working out at the Astros’ alternate training site in Corpus Christi, Texas, and he has battled injuries, a suspension and underperformance since Houston chose him in the first round of the MLB Draft in '16.

• Nova, Houston's top-ranked position player, batted .268 with 29 doubles, two triples, 13 homers, 73 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 163 games in the Astros’ Minor League system (2017-19). He last played at Class A Quad Cities in '19, where he hit .259 with 20 doubles and 10 steals as one of the youngest players in the Midwest League at 19 years old.

• Solis, 20, has gone 5-7 with a 3.05 ERA with 53 walks and 120 strikeouts in 112 innings in two seasons in the Astros’ Minor League system (2017-18). Solis missed the '19 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

• Ivey, 24, posted an 8-9 record and a 3.07 ERA with 63 walks and 247 strikeouts in three seasons in the Astros’ Minor League system (2017-19). He last pitched at Double-A Corpus Christi in '19, going 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 46 innings.

• Solomon, 24, has gone 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA, 36 walks and 128 strikeouts over 109 1/3 innings over 27 games (16 starts) in the Astros’ Minor League system (2017-19). He missed the majority of the '19 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.