After the celebration, five Astros free agents will start to look for jobs for the 2018 season.
The Houston Astros are still within 24-hours of winning their first World Series. With all the excitement of the win, the team will now shift focus towards the 2018 season. This team is not built to just win now, but for the next five years.
With that being said, there will be some players who may not return next year. A few of them were acquired this year, but one of them has been here since 2015 after signing a three-year deal. Although he has been a big part of the bullpen, he took a step back this year.
According to Brian McTaggart, five players officially become free agents. Gregerson is the longest tenured Astro, as he was signed at the same time as Pat Neshek. After a season with a career high 4.57 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 62 innings, he is now a free agent. The biggest difference between his 2017 season and other seasons is the 12 homers he allowed.
Will he be back? It appeared that A.J. Hinch did not have faith in Gregerson during the playoffs. To his credit, Gregerson pitched well when he did pitch. He will not get as much money as he did the first time around.
Before the July trade deadline, the Astros acquired struggling starter Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays. The idea was to change him to a playoff caliber lefty reliever. While this deal was not a fan favorite, he showed signs down the stretch. He had one bad appearance in Boston and Hinch lost confidence in him in the playoffs.
The other pitcher who became a free agent is Tyler Clippard, who the Astros acquired in August. After a hot start, he fell apart at the end. He was more of a depth option for the regular season with the hope that he forced his way on to the playoff roster. That never happened, but the cost was not much in exchange.
Cameron Maybin was acquired in August as well to add some depth to the roster. When Jake Marisnick injured his thumb, Maybin got plenty of playing time. He showed enough to become part of the playoff roster and was used sparingly.
Plenty of people celebrated when Maybin got the first stolen base as a pinch runnner, giving America a free taco today. Maybin jumped right into helping Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey. Even though his batting average was low, he had some big homers with the Astros. His calling card was his 33 steals which was more than Jose Altuve’s 32.
Last, but not least, is the veteran Carlos Beltran. He was brought in to bring some veteran leadership this year that led the Astros to win the World Series. What he did in the locker room was the biggest reason they brought him in, he didn’t look like the same hitter at the age of 41.
Beltran has had a Hall-of-Fame career, but I don’t see the Astros brining him back. He could come back as part of the coaching staff or jump on with another team. I’m not ready to look at what the Astros will do this offseason yet, I want to enjoy the parade downtown tomorrow first.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***