The Astros have claimed corner outfielder Dillon Thomas off waivers from the Angels, according to announcements from both teams. Fellow outfielder Jake Meyers has been transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Los Angeles also announced that reliever Ty Buttrey has passed through waivers unclaimed and been sent outright to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Thomas remains in the AL West, where he’ll look to reach the majors with a third separate team. The 29-year-old has gotten cups of coffee with the Mariners and Angels over the past couple seasons, but he’s appeared in just five total games. His stint in Anaheim was particularly brief. Thomas was selected to the majors last Wednesday while the club dealt with a brief absence for Mike Trout. He was on the active roster for three days, suiting up once, before being designated for assignment.
Signed by the Halos to a minor league contract over the winter, Thomas earned a 40-man spot with quality work in the upper levels of the system. The left-handed hitter posted a .295/.398/.489 mark with eight home runs across 211 plate appearances in Salt Lake. Thomas walked at a strong 10.9% clip against a roughly average 23.7% strikeout rate, apparently catching the attention of the Astros front office in the process.
While Thomas will start his organizational tenure in Sugar Land, the opportunity to earn a big league call with the Astros figures to be particularly sweet. Thomas is a Houston native who’d been committed to Texas A&M before signing with the Rockies out of Westbury Christian School a decade ago. He still has a pair of minor league option years, so he can bounce between Houston and Sugar Land for the next couple seasons if he holds a 40-man roster spot.
Meyers’ transfer makes room for Thomas, but it’s strictly a procedural move. The 25-year-old has been on the injured list all season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He’s already spent more than 60 days on the IL, so he’s still eligible to return whenever he’s ready from a health perspective. That figures to be in the coming days, as he’s spent the past couple weeks on a rehab assignment with the Space Cowboys.
Buttrey, meanwhile, sticks in the Angels organization but will no longer hold a spot on the 40-man roster. Initially designated for assignment when Thomas was called up, the righty will try to work his way back to the majors as a member of the Bees. Buttrey sat out the 2021 season after stepping away from the game, and he’s shown some signs of rust upon returning. Through 12 1/3 innings, he’s allowed nine runs while striking out just five.