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Finally, there is a fourth option. The Astros could make another Erik Bedard-like signing and use him as the Opening Day starter. An established vet would be easy to explain to the media, the fans, and the players, especially in baseball where history and prior accomplishments are valued so highly.
Every year an aging pitcher is let go in light of younger talent, and every year an aging pitcher puts up one of the best years of his career. That would be great for the Astros, but it’s really not even necessary. All that is needed is a veteran guy who can eat innings and provide leadership to the younger pitchers.
If this mystery man came with a track record of success, I see no reason to not start him on Opening Day. That would keep the newly signed vet happy, and it would give the kids one less thing to be upset about.
So, Astros fan, who are you handing the ball to on April 1, 2014 against the Yankees?