Astros swipe injured reliever from Braves off waivers ahead of Opening Day

The former Mariner joins his second team, in as many years, as he rehabs from Tommy John Surgery.

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners
New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Penn Murfee's stay with the Atlanta Braves was a rather short one, as the reliever never suited up for a game as he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. As the roster crunch began to happen at the end of Spring Training it was speculated that Penn would be transferred to the 60-day IL and attempt to return to baseball during the second half of the season.

That all changed two days ago when the Braves released Penn Murfee. Atlanta chose to release him after they signed fan-favorite reliever Jesse Chavez to a minor league deal. Chavez's addition also led to Atlanta outrighting reliever Jackson Stephens to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Murfee is now joining his third team in two years because there's no doubting his ability on the mound. In two seasons with the Seattle Mariners Penn appeared in 80 games, had a 2.70 ERA, and a 0.972 WHIP. Combine that with him slinging the ball nearly parallel with the ground and you had the makings of an intriguing reliever. That all came to a pause in June of 2023 as the reliever experienced elbow discomfort which eventually led to him getting Tommy John surgery.

Houston Astros claim Penn Murfee off waivers from the Braves

That all leads us to today where it was announced that the Houston Astros have claimed the reliever off of waivers on Wednesday evening.

Following the signing of Murfee, the Astros moved Kendall Graveman to the 60-day IL, thereby opening a spot on their 40-man roster for Penn.

For the Braves, with the release of Murfee, they open the season with a relatively healthy 40-man roster with significant injuries only to Ian Anderson and Ángel Perdomo. Ian, recovering from Tommy John Surgery in April of 2023, looks to return to baseball by the summer months while Perdomo misses the entire 2024 season following his own Tommy John Surgery in October of 2023.

As of today, the Braves currently have 36 men on the 40-man roster, with two of those being on the 60-day IL. It will be interesting to see if the Braves make any other moves on currently injured players that may be impactful later in the season, or if they intend to save space on the 40-man so they can move players up before the Rule 5 draft.

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