Bagwell, Clemens, Huff, Pettitte and Springer Free Agents

As you might have expected, the Astros will not offer arbitration to Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Russ Springer. But also Aubrey Huff is a new free agent. Here’s the official press release.

ASTROS DECLINE TO OFFER ARBITRATION TO FIVE PLAYERS

Club?s Free Agents are Bagwell, Clemens, Huff, Pettitte and Springer

HOUSTON ? The Houston Astros announced today that the club has declined to offer arbitration to the club?s five free agents: Jeff Bagwell, Roger Clemens, Aubrey Huff, Andy Pettitte and Russ Springer. The announcement was made by General Manager Tim Purpura.

Bagwell, 38, is the career leader for the Astros in home runs, runs batted in and walks. He ranks second in club history with 2,314 hits and leads the Houston franchise with 31 career multi-homer games. The four-time All-Star missed the entire 2006 season with right shoulder arthritis. In 15 seasons with the club, Bagwell hit .297 (2,314×7,797) with 449 home runs and 1,529 RBI.

Clemens, 44, finished 7-6 with a 2.30 ERA (29ER/113.1IP) in 19 starts for the Astros in 2006. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner (most all-time) ranks eighth on the MLB career wins list with 348 and trails 7th-place Kid Nichols (360, 1890-1906) by 12 victories. His 2.30 ERA in 2006 led the Majors since his first start of the year on June 22. The 11-time All-Star is 38-18 with an MLB-best 2.40 ERA (144ER/539IP) since joining the Astros in 2004.

Huff hit .267 (121×454) with 21 home runs and 67 RBI in 131 combined games between Houston and Tampa Bay in 2006. He was acquired by Houston from Tampa Bay in exchange for RHP Mitch Talbot and IF Ben Zobrist on July 12, 2006. In 68 games for the Astros last season, Huff hit .250 (56×224) with 13 home runs and 38 RBI.

Pettitte, 34, was 14-13 with a 4.20 ERA (100ER/214.1IP) in 36 appearances (35 starts) for the Astros in 2006. He posted his 12th consecutive winning season, which includes all of his big league seasons, tying him with Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell and Juan Marichal for the third-longest streak of consecutive winning seasons to start a Major League career. In three seasons for the Astros, the left-handed pitcher is 37-26 with a 3.38 ERA (195ER/519.2IP).

Springer went 1-1 with a 3.47 ERA (23ER/59.2IP) in a career-high 72 appearances in 2006. He did not allow a run in 58 of his 72 games pitched for the Astros during the season. Since rejoining the club in 2004, Springer is 5-6 with a 3.94 ERA (58ER/132.1IP). He also appeared in 54 games for Houston in 1997, finishing 3-3 with a 4.23 ERA (26ER/55.1IP).

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