Today's transaction news and notes:
- The Houston Astros signed catcher Landon Powell to a Minor League contract this morning and he will report to big league camp, Alyson Footer tweets. Powell, 29, who was released by the Athletics last Friday, will give the Astros some insurance at the backstop position. Jason Castro, 24, is slated to be the Astros starting catcher on Opening Day, with Humberto Quintero and Chris Snyder fighting for the back-up role. Quintero has yet to see any action this spring, however, as he has been battling a bulging disc in his back.
- The Athletics claimed infielder Brandon Hicks off waivers this morning from the Braves, CSN Bay Area reports. Brett Anderson, who is recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, was placed on the 60-day DL to make room on the roster for Hicks. The A's are likely to let Hicks compete with Josh Donaldson, Eric Sogard and Adam Rosales for at-bats at third base. The position has become a trouble spot for the organization since they lost Scott Sizemore for the season three weeks ago with a torn ACL.
- Jon Heyman tweets that the Indians have restructed and reduced the contract of Fausto Carmona (aka Roberto Hernandez Heredia). Heyman reports that Carmona/Heredia's 2012 salary was lowered and one option eliminated, but the Indians have apparently yet to make an official comment on the restructuring at this time.