The Houston Astros have been seeking a top starter even with a solid rotation.
After the Gerrit Cole trade, the Astros have found their guy for the next two years of team control. Before the trade, Richard Justice hinted that they were more comfortable with Cole versus the free agent options. They made their choice and should be out of the starting pitching market.
On this week’s Talking Stros, people were asking if Yu Darvish was still an option. We were very straightforward and said there was little chance that they go down that route. The Astros don’t need another starting pitcher.
According to J.R. Sullivan, “Jon Daniels said adding another front line starting pitcher is not likely this winter.” So the Rangers are out on Darvish as well. The list of suitors for Darvish is dwindling, with a few potential teams facing salary tax issues. By trading for Cole, the Astros save potentially $10-15 million a year versus signing Darvish.
The team did meet with Darvish, but they weren’t going to get him at a discounted rate. No one this offseason has signed more than three guaranteed seasons. With Jake Arrieta and Darvish still on the market, we will see if this changes.
No room for Yu.
With a rotation filled with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Cole, Lance McCullers, and Charlie Morton, there is no need for Darvish. Granted, the Astros could potentially lose Keuchel and Morton next offseason to free agency. However, the cost for Darvish would be excessive.
The addition of Cole gives them some insurance. Maybe the Astros were looking to sign Darvish for potentially cheaper than they could Keuchel. When that wasn’t an option, they moved on to a trade. Either way, they made the right deal at the right time to get Cole.
No, the Astros are not going to throw $20 plus million at Darvish now for 2-3 years. They are set to win in 2018 and 2019. Any needs they could come across in the future, they will continue to build up the minor leagues for the future stars.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***