Feldman comes full circle in signing with Astros

Feldman comes full circle in signing with Astros
December 6, 2013, 4:15 pm
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Newest Astro Scott Feldman joined STL after signing

(Joy R. Absalon - USA Today Sports Images)

It took 11 years, but Scott Feldman is finally joining the original team that drafted him.

The right-hander signed a three-year contract on Friday with the Astros for $30 million, becoming the first free agent signed by the Astros to earn at least $10 million per season since Carlos Lee following the 2006 season.

“I’m just fortunate that they wanted me to be here and come in here and pitch,” Feldman said on a conference call following the signing. “I just wanted a fair deal and somewhere that wanted me. I’m fortunate and blessed.”

Selected by the Astros in the 41st round of the 2002 draft as a draft-and-follow prospect, Feldman wound up not signing with Houston and went to Texas in the 30th round a year later.

Now back with the Astros, Feldman will be counted upon to help lead the team back into contention, though he hesitated when asked about a timetable.

I don’t think anybody can say for sure when that day is going to happen, can’t predict the future,” Feldman said. “Talking with the skipper on the phone before I signed, he’s optimistic. The future’s going to be very bright.”

“We all have the same goal,” Feldman said. “The Red Sox finished (in 2012) and won it all last year.”

In nine years in the majors, Feldman has compiled a career 51-56 record, mostly with Texas and then with the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore last season.

Feldman’s best season was in 2009, when he set career highs in starts (34) and wins (17) while helping the Rangers reach the World Series for the first time in the franchise’s history.

Injuries limited him to 24 total starts the next two seasons and after a 6-11 record on 21 starts Feldman hit the free agent market.

“Going into free agency last year I was just trying to prove that I was capable of starting 30 games. The Cubs gave me that opportunity and I’m grateful to them and to the Orioles.”

Feldman made the most of the opportunity, making 30 starts and finishing with a 12-12 record and a 3.86 ERA in 2013.

Houston wasn’t necessarily a target destination for Feldman, though they became an attractive destination after he looked into the club.

“I got on the (Astros) website and started looking at the birthdays and felt a little bit old,” Feldman joked. “When Houston became a possibility agent told me (other organizations) all had nothing but good things to say about the farm system and people running the organization.”