The offseason is now a couple of months old, and the Astros have made a variety of transactions.
And as I was reading a recent post from Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter regarding the best and worst offseason moves for each MLB franchise, I couldn’t help but ponder what I thought of the Astros moves this winter. After all, general manager Jeff Luhnow has changed the ball club quite a bit since October. But were these the best moves? And were there any transactions detrimental to the Astros?
Best move thus far
Like Joel Reuter, I believe the best move the Astros made was acquiring a reliever, and presumed closer, Ken Giles from the Philadelphia Phillies last month. Adding a pitcher like Giles only adds another dimension to the team’s bullpen and one who will hopefully be one the cornerstones for the foreseeable future. After all, bringing on board a pitcher that can throw up to 100 MPH and has demonstrated an impressive ability to strikeout any hitter is something that the Astros missed last season during their playoff push.
However, the Fangraphs Steamer projections currently predict that the right-hander will not be quite as lights out as he was in 2014 and 2015. Steamer projects Giles to finish the 2016 season with a 3.30 ERA/3.41 FIP and an 11.19 K/9 in 65 innings. That’s good only for a 0.7 WAR. Last season’s closer, Luke Gregerson, had a 1.2 WAR and is projected to have a 0.7 WAR next season. Of course, these are just projections, and there is the possibility that the former Phillie continues marching on his dominant path.
To be honest, a reliever with that type of stuff does not come along often so it makes sense why the Astros would part ways with so much talent to pry him away from Philadelphia. Even if the price is high, the team’s window is now wide open, so the reaction to act was warranted. So there is no argument there about the best acquisition for the Astros thus far. In fact, anything less of adding a pitcher like Giles would’ve been a disappointment. Not a crushing one, but a disappointment nonetheless.
Next: Worst move thus far