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10/27/09 7:14 PM ET

Coste elects to become free agent

Veteran catcher refuses club's assignment to Triple-A

HOUSTON -- The Astros on Tuesday outrighted veteran catcher Chris Coste to Triple-A Round Rock, removing him from the 40-man roster. Coste refused the outright assignment and is a free agent.

Coste, 36, hit .224 in 2009 with two home runs and 18 RBIs in 88 games combined between Philadelphia and Houston. He was acquired earlier this season by the Astros after being claimed off waivers from the Phillies on July 10.

With the Astros, Coste hit .204 with 10 RBIs in 43 games. A veteran of four Major League seasons with Philadelphia (2006-09) and Houston (2009), Coste has a .272 career batting average with 23 home runs and 108 RBIs.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.