Catcher Craig Tatum was claimed off waivers from the Orioles by the Astros on Friday, Houston general manager Ed Wade announced.
Tatum, 28, played in 31 games for the Orioles in 2011 and hit .195 with three doubles and seven RBIs. He also appeared in 21 games for Triple-A Norfolk. Tatum has a .223 career average with one homer, 22 RBIs and 21 runs scored in 100 games with the Reds ('09) and Orioles ('10-11). He was selected by the Reds in the third round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
The addition of Tatum to the Astros' 40-man roster leaves their total at 36, with Tatum joining fellow catchers Carlos Corporan, Humberto Quintero and Jason Castro (60-day disabled list).
Houston also re-signed outfielder Brandon Barnes to a Minor League contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training. In 630 career Minor League games, the 25-year-old owns a .250 average with 139 doubles, 21 triples, 77 homers and 300 RBIs. Barnes was selected by the Astros in the sixth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
Tim Bittner (Mid-Atlantic), Gavin Dickey (South Texas) and John Martin (Central and North Florida) also were announced as new amateur scout hires by Astros assistant general manager Bobby Heck.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.