MLB.com has confirmed that the Astros have signed closer Armando Benitez to a minor league deal. Benitez, who last pitched in majors in June of 2008, was pitching for the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League before being courted by the Astros.
In 34 games with the Newark Bears, Benitez was 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA and 16 saves. He had 43 strike outs to jut 10 walks, and was holding hitters to a .171 batting average.
Astros GM Ed Wade says he plans to have Benitez finish the season at Triple-A Round Rock, which will play its final game on September 7th. If Benitez can continue his success, it is possible the Astros will call him up for the final month of the season.