12 Jan 07: It’s Official! Richard Hidalgo signed a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training earlier today. Welcome back Richard! And here’s a video of Richard in Winter Ball this year.
The Houston Chronicle and 790 AM are both reporting the Astros are close to signing Richard Hidalgo to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The Chronicle is reporting that a deal could be done within 48 hours.
This is a no-lose situation for the Astros, who have stated that Richard will have a chance to win the starting job at right field in spring training. If he doesn’t win that job outright, the Astros could use Richard off the bench as a late inning defensive replacement in Right Field and possibly Center Field. Al Pedrique, the head of Astros baseball operations in Latin America and manager of Richard’s Winter League team, was sufficiently impressed by Hidalgo’s efforts in 2006 to push for this signing.
Seeing Richard back in an Astros uniform will bring back many memories for Astros fans.