Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
While the Astros theoretically have their closer set with either Luke Gregerson or Chad Qualls, it certainly would not hurt to have a pitcher in the bullpen with the experience of having saved over 300 games over his career. Francisco Rodriguez would be exactly that pitcher.
Last season, while serving as the Brewers closer, Rodriguez made the All-Star team once again. Oerall, he posted a 3.04 ERA and a 0.985 WHiP, striking out 73 batters against 18 walks in 68 innings. Even as the Brewers faltered late last year, he still finished third in the National League with 44 saves. He is certainly the type of pitcher that could make an impact on a bullpen.
Likely to serve in a setup role if the Astros were to sign him, Francisco Rodriguez would also add a level of protection should Gregerson prove that he is not capable of serving as a closer. As someone who has served in both roles himself, Rodriguez has been comfortable in both roles, performing quite well aside from the anomaly of his 2012 campaign with the Mets.
Rodriguez would also have another role on the team. Like Gregerson and Lowrie, he has been through the postseason before, even winning a World Series as a rookie in 2002. He can help show a young Astros team what it takes to be a winning franchise. That type of intangible can have some value.
With the Astros still in need of help in the bullpen, Francisco Rodriguez could be worth a look at the right price.