LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Astros brought in Cesar Izturis to add to their infield depth this spring, while hoping the well-respected veteran would provide valuable leadership to fellow middle infielders Carlos Correa, Jonathan Villar, Marwin Gonzalez and Jose Altuve.
Izturis provided leadership in many ways, but he was beat out for the backup middle-infield spot by Gonzalez and was released Monday. The Astros would have had to play Izturis $100,000 by Tuesday if he wasn't on the 25-man roster, and he had no plans to go to the Minor Leagues, so a release was the only option.
"It was a tough decision to keep Izturis off the club, just because of all the things in which he brings to the ballclub," manager Bo Porter said. "As we looked at the situation, they were in competition, Marwin won the competition."
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Izturis came to camp with a legitimate shot to win a job.
"It was a real opportunity and we were genuine in bringing him in for that opportunity," Luhnow said. "There were a lot of teams out there that have expressed interested in middle infielders, so I'm pretty sure he'll land on his feet quickly. The mentorship he had this spring was valuable. Correa got to spend time with him, Villar got to spend time with him, Altuve got to spend time with him, and Marwin. All four of those guys benefited from behind around him."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.