Astros Rumors: Is Tommy Hunter about to be added?
Are the Astros hunting for a reliever?
The Houston Astros have not added any players of note this offseason. They added a few players under minor league deals, but they haven’t made the big splash yet. There can be those who argue they don’t need to add much, but they do need to upgrade their bullpen.
Earlier today, Brian McTaggart reported that Jeff Luhnow felt that a deal could be made tonight. While there are not too many rumors floating around, maybe a name is coming up through the rumors. McTaggart also mentioned that they had multiple offers out.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported that he is hearing that former Rays reliever Tommy Hunter had two teams interested in him. Topkin reports that the two teams are the Astros and the Dodgers. Both teams had their bullpen challenged in the World Series, with the Astros getting the better results.
The Dodges lost Brandon Marrow to the Cubs, so they could be looking at the eight-year veteran to pitch in the bullpen. The Astros are looking for someone to replace Luke Gregerson, and he left via free agency. Would Hunter be the reliever the Astros need to stabilize the bullpen? Yes, but it wouldn’t hurt to continue looking.
Buster Olney reported that teams are getting the feeling that Hunter already had a deal in place with another team. Could that be the Astros? It’s a bit of rumors and speculation.
If you are like me, you probably said, who is Tommy Hunter? That is a valid question as the non-closer or setup pitchers don’t normally get the recognition. But if you think back really hard, you will realize that Hunter played with the Rangers to start his career. Back then, he was a starter before he got hurt. He won 13 games in 2010.
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Last year, the 31-year-old reliever pitched for the Rays. He had a 3-5 record with a 2.61 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings. He throws his fastball in the mid-nineties with a cutter and curveball. Hunter is also a former starter, do he could fit in that multiple-inning role. Nothing official, but would be a good pickup depending on price.
Updated: Looks like the Phillies are closing in on Hunter according to Zolecki and Jon Heyman.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs***