Astros sign four to minor league deals

The Houston Astros have signed outfielder Trevor Crowe and pitchers Sergio Escalona, Edgar Gonzalez and Jose Valdez to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.

Escalona missed the entire 2012 campaign while recovering from left elbow surgery, but had a successful 2011 season before the injury. The left-hander posted a 2-1 record and a 2.93 earned run average in 49 games for the Astros.

Gonzalez, 29, made six starts for Houston last season after having his contract purchased on Sept. 3 and went 3-1 with a 5.04 ERA.

Valdez was also a September call-up in 2012, compiling a 2.25 ERA over 12 relief appearances.

Crowe split his 2012 campaign between the Indians and Angels minor league systems. He was drafted 14th overall by Cleveland in 2005 and owns a career .245 average with 34 doubles and 29 steals in 205 games, all with Cleveland.