Astros, Collin McHugh…Arbitration Imminent?


Could the Astros and Collin McHugh be heading towards arbitration in the coming days?

My co-writer and CTH editor Eric Huysman reported that the Astros and Collin McHugh are yet to agree on terms, which could lead to arbitration.

In the case of McHugh though, it’s not a surprise that his value has increased since joining the Astros in 2014. He has been a solid starter will potential for great performances. This begs the question, what could be taking so long to make this deal happen?

What’s the Hold Up?

Well, McHugh is coming off a lackluster season, one of many ups and downs. The right-hander is now 29 years old, and is looking to rebound from his 2016 campaign. His price seems modest, as his contract value was  $529,000 last year. Perhaps the Astros are looking at ways to compensate him higher. Maybe it’s details which are causing the delay in his deal. Quite possibly, would he be a discussion for trade?

Value Beyond the Contract

McHugh captured our attention with his 19-win season in 2015. He bolstered his value with his playoff performances against the Royals in the 2015 ALDS. He has the demeanor and the fight of a winner. His experience and presence in the rotation is vital to the Astros season. He is a force in the later part of the season, and he is a difficult opponent in the playoffs. His value goes far beyond that of his 2016 contract.

Bargian Shopping?

With the offseason moves the Astros have made, it is also plausible to believe they are looking to bid low on McHugh. The fear of adding too much payroll could inhibit them from making moves at the trade deadline to bolster their World Series pursuit. While there is nothing wrong with bargain shopping, McHugh is worth the flexibility.

The Truth Is…

Fact of the matter is that McHugh is very much a hot commodity for the Astros now, and his value both on the field and on the books is worth the adjustments. Since the team made no moves to add pitching this offseason, it makes little sense for them to not negotiate a contract rate to bring him back for this season.

**Statistics and salary information courtesy of Baseball Reference and Spotrac**