On Monday, we learned that the Houston Astros agreed to terms with Jerome Williams on a one year contract. Williams figures to slot into the back end of the rotation and be a valuable innings eater for the Astros. If need be, the right-hander could also slide into a bullpen role for Bo Porter.
What was missing though, was who would be jettisoned from the 40-man roster to make room for Williams. As of now, that has not been released, but we do know the terms of the contract.
Earlier this off-season the Angels chose to non-tender Williams instead of going to arbitration with the 32-year old, who according to MLB Trade Rumors, would have been due roughly $3.9 million.
Jerome Williams incentives tied to innings and/or games pitched, but cannot exceed $1 mil, source says. 12,15,20,25,30 GS=$100k … [cont’d] — Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 6, 2014
[cont’d] & every 10 IP from 130-210 IP would be worth $100k. BUT that caps at $1 mil tot. In place for add’l earning power as RP or SP. — Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) February 6, 2014
So based on straight salary, the Astros are getting a discount just shy of 50% compared to what Williams would have been due through arbitration. Williams will hit the incentives if he has a successful year for the Astros, so that would then be money well spent for Jeff Luhnow. Ultimately, I think this is a good, low risk signing for Houston that gives them another proven, veteran arm. Williams will likely begin the season as a fourth or fifth starter which should help to solidify the back end of the rotation.