Nationals lose Bixler to Astros

Nationals lose Bixler to Astros

Nationals lose Bixler to Astros
WASHINGTON -- Placed on waivers by the Nationals, infielder/outfielder Brian Bixler was claimed by the Astros on Thursday afternoon.

Bixler played solid defense, but didn't provide a lot of punch off the bench, hitting .205 in 79 games.

Bixler said he was sad to leave the Nationals because he made a lot of friends in the nation's capital. He also said he is ready for a new start with the Astros.

"Any time you get a new opportunity where a team claims you off waivers, I'm excited about it," Bixler said. "It is a new door that is opening. I'm excited to meet my new teammates and to be with Houston.

"I'm going to be a little disappointed because I had a good time [in Washington] this last year. I liked everybody in Washington -- both on and off the field."

Bixler said he is thankful the Nationals gave him a chance to show his versatility. For example, he played the outfield for the first time in his career, and made some nice catches in left field.

"I was able to play infield and outfield," Bixler said. "I put a lot of hard work into it. I was thankful the Nationals gave me that opportunity and believed in me enough to put me out there in situations. That can't hurt me."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.