Astros News

Astros have plenty of decisions to make this offseason

codypoage
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 18: Jim Crane, owner and chairman of the Houston Astros, left, shakes hands with Jeff Luhnow after announcing that Luhnow, who has been named President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, received a contract extension that carries through the 2023 season during a press conference at at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 18: Jim Crane, owner and chairman of the Houston Astros, left, shakes hands with Jeff Luhnow after announcing that Luhnow, who has been named President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, received a contract extension that carries through the 2023 season during a press conference at at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The conundrum of the starting rotation

Presently, Houston’s starting rotation is Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and a bunch of unknowns. The free agency of Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton throws one of the best rotations in club history into rough waters. Add Lance McCullers‘ elbow issues and we have a situation where sixty percent of the Astros’ rotation may not be back in 2019. That’s not, um, optimal. For as much as I like Collin McHugh, Brad Peacock, Forrest Whitley, Josh James, and company, the front office may need to secure at least one more proven starting pitcher from the open market or via trade. Another Cole-like trade would be a best-case scenario.

At this point, though, I’d put the odds of Keuchel returning around 20%. For Morton, I’d give 60-70%. The coming weeks will give the Astros an idea on how both pitchers wish to utilize their leverage. Specifically in Keuchel’s case, he is searching for his large payday, which he deserves. But the Astros don’t have to be the team to give it to him.

Here is one name I would to throw out there for consideration: Nathan Eovaldi, who is an Alvin, Texas native. Not only does he have the stuff (see: 2018 ALCS), he would solidify the rotation behind Verlander and Cole while Houston can ease in the likes of Whitley and James. Will it happen? Probably not as I’d look for Boston to throw plenty of cash his way, but he is worth the consideration.

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