Astros: Time to go after Tony Watson after the Gerrit Cole trade?
By Eric Huysman
Could Tony Watson be an option for the Astros?
The Astros have gone all in for the next two seasons with the Gerrit Cole trade. They now have some security if Dallas Keuchel and/or Charlie Morton leave via free agency. They will still have Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh, and Cole. Would Keuchel automatically leave? We would hope not.
The best thing about the Cole trade is that we have an insurance policy just in case. The Astros raised pre-flop and look to win again in 2018-19. Despite already having a great rotation, they make it legendary by adding Cole. They have already made a big bet, why not raise the stakes again?
The Astros have a two-year window before the big decisions have to be made. Tony Sipp is clearly not the answer as he has underwhelmed after signing the three-year deal. After Sipp’s 2014 season, you can’t blame the Astros for trying to lock him up. It got so bad that they traded for Liriano.
A lefty needed in the bullpen.
It feels like we have been looking for a quality left-handed reliever for a few years. There are not that many options on the market except for Tony Watson. After the Cole trade, we now have two open spots on the 40-man roster. Last night on Talking Stros we wondered if Watson could be an option?
While Brian McTaggart did mention the Astros should sign him and call it an offseason, that doesn’t mean it will happen. Watson is the top option on the free agent market, so he won’t be cheap. We said it would probably take about $11-12 million to sign him for 2-3 seasons. Would that get the job done? Watson and Cole are apparently best friends, so that may help a little, but money is money.
Yes, the Astros saved some money by trading for Cole and not signing Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta. However, they may not want to go out and throw big money out to a reliever. My co-host Brandon did not feel like the Astros would sign a reliever, but Watson is tempting.
Is there a chance.
Last year, Wilson was traded from the Pirates to the Dodgers. He had a 7-3 record with a 3.38 ERA, with 53 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings. After being traded to the Dodgers, he pitched better with a 2.70 ERA. He would definitely be a positive addition to the team depending on how many years.
Next: Astros: Losing Joe Musgrove leaves a hole in the bullpen
There have been very little rumors about Watson being connected to the Astros. Maybe things pick up now that Cole is on the team, but all is quiet right now. The bullpen is strong enough without him but would be better with him. The Astros could also wait until the trade deadline to make a deal.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***