Only the balance of this year's contract remains on Gomez's deal, but he has had a dreadful year. I can definitely see a team picking him up at the veteran minimum hoping to get him on the roster right before the September expansion so they can hopefully salvage something valuable.

The Astros on Wednesday designated center fielder Carlos Gomez for assignment. That means the team has 10 days to release Gomez or seven days to put him on waivers for purposes of trading him or outrighting him to the minors with his consent.

While the move comes as a surprise, Gomez has indeed struggled badly in 2016. In his age-30 season, Gomez has hit .210/.272/.322 (63 OPS+) in 85 games this season. Over that span, he's hit just five home runs. Gomez showed signs of decline last season, but as recently as 2014 he was competing at an All-Star level. He's in the final year of a three-year, $24 million contract and is owed the balance of a $9 million salary for 2016.

The Astros originally acquired Gomez in a trade with the Brewers leading up to the 2015 non-waiver deadline. That deal sent four prospects to Milwaukee and also landed Mike Fiers in Houston.

For the time being, Jake Marisnick figures to hold down center field for the Astros. To take Gomez's place on the roster, the Astros have recalled right-hander Jandel Gustave.