Well, the Stros had options regardless but the pool of available players, especially arms, got a bit bigger after last night. Teams shedding fat off their payroll could make the exact type of player the Astros are looking for much more available I’ve placed the list right here but I’ll outline a few names that I, in my vast Astros’ wisdom, believe would be ideal fits to the rotation, bullpen or even position players. The team certainly has glaring needs and maybe some of these guys can be brought in and it could essentially be a win-win for both parties.
The three names that immediately stick out to me are Jair Jurrjens, Jeff Karstens and John Lannan. All three have been viable mid-rotation starting pitchers and in Jurrjens case, an All-Star. Given the recent acquisition of Philip Humber, adding one of these three gentlemen would help solidify the rotation as much as possible. Jurrjens would actually give the Astros a potential front of the rotation starter, if he could stay healthy. Much like Jed Lowrie last offseason, it could be a huge high reward, low risk move. Another pitcher that could make sense is Brian Wilson, the ex-closer of the Giants. Given this past-week’s almost trade of Wilton Lopez, the club will probably need a closer and Wilson, coming off injury, might be looking to re-establish value for himself. Other intriguing names to look at are Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Pelfrey, both have their warts but could come cheap and be effective.
As far as hitters go, the non-tender market doesn’t seem to have the names the pitching market has but for the Astros, there should be some interest. The name that stands out the most is Mark Reynolds and all his homeruns and strikeouts. Mark actually fits the DH needs of the Astros perfectly and won’t break the bank. Guy has massive power and stayed somewhat consistent in 2012 although that batting average… yuck! Regardless, decent OPS and great power with okay run production on the cheap, why not? ‘Stros could also look at Ian Stewart and Ben Francisco and its pretty obvious what they’d get. They could also try and hit jackpots with Nate Schierholtz and Brandon Snyder and hope they hit their potential, again on the cheap.
The one name that intrigues me quite a bit is Daniel Schlereth. Injuries have sidelined the lefty but he could have the highest upside of any of the non-tendered relievers. Regardless, expect the Astros to go fishing from this pool of players and bring in one or two of them.