It has just been announced by Bob Nightengale that the Chicago White Sox have reached an agreement with free agent closer David Robertson.
Yet another closer option for the Astros has chosen another club. Perhaps it is because the White Sox already have Chris Sale and Jose Abreu, and according to reports, are on the verge of acquiring Jeff Samardzija from Oakland. The White Sox are making moves, and apparently Robertson took notice.
The Astros on the other hand are trying to give away money, and keep striking out. The four years/$40M+ is similar to the deal that Houston offered to Andrew Miller, who chose the Yankees offer of $36M over the same number of years. What is it about Houston that scares free agents away? Not you, Scott Feldman. You’re cool.
Is it the simple fact that free agents don’t buy in to the process, or is there something more? Do they not see the Astros trying hard enough to contend? Whatever it is, it needs to be rectified, and fast. There are still free agent closers on the market, with Rafael Soriano, Francisco Rodriguez and Sergio Romo topping the list. All three would come with question marks, however.
For Romo, he lost his closer’s job midway through 2014 after being hit around a fair amount. Sorianowent 4-1 with a 3.19 ERA and 32 saves in 2014, but is about to turn 35. He is not a long-term option. K-Rod had a rough 2012 campaign, with a 4.38 ERA, but has rebounded with ERAs of 2.70 and 3.04 the past two seasons. Like Soriano, age may be an issue, with Rodriguez set to turn 33 in January. Romo turns 32 in March.
As Evan Drellich suggested, maybe the Astros turn to someone like Luke Gregerson, who has primarily been a setup man in his career, and give him a shot at closing. Whatever the Astros’ plan is, they had better act fast, or their bullpen may suffer another season of disarray.