Drew Stubbs (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
With Chris Young no longer an option, Jeff Luhnow is going to have to look elsewhere to improve the Astros’ outfield. Another possibility, David Murphy, signed earlier this week with the Cleveland Indians.
So as we start to look elsewhere, one option could be the player Murphy helped put of a job; Drew Stubbs.
Now Stubbs might not be an exciting option, or even a difference maker, but he could be a solid contributor. Stubbs could be a low risk and low cost addition who brings some upside.
The same skill set that made Young an attractive option to the Astros, also works in Stubbs’ favor. The 29-year old outfielder brings a solid power/speed combination and also has a 20/20 season under his belt (22 HR, 30 SB in 2010).
Stubbs is more of a stolen base threat than a power threat, but he does contribute on both fronts. He followed up his 20/20 season with 40 and 30 stolen bases respectively in the next two years (he added 15 and 14 home runs as well).
He is coming off a down year in 2013 that saw Stubbs hit .233 with just 10 home runs while stealing 17 bases. That fact, combined with the addition of Murphy and the fact that Stubbs is eligible for arbitration and a possible non tender candidate, makes him very available.
But there is also another reason why Cleveland would be looking to move Stubbs and why he would be available. The highest average the outfielder has ever hit for in a full season is .255 in 2010. Also, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that Stubbs will strike out about 30% of the time.
However, there really is not too much difference between Stubbs and Young (aside from possibly a few million dollars). This might not be the exciting addition that Astros fans are craving, but there is some upside here and not too much risk.