Astros have plenty of decisions to make this offseason
By Cody Poage
Refining the position player side of the roster
Can the Astros bring back Marwin Gonzalez, Brian McCann, Martin Maldonado, and Evan Gattis? Yes, they definitely could. Should they? That’s the crux of the issue. Based on my initial impressions, the front office seems ready to try something else. Although they contributed greatly to a World Series run last year, I don’t envision McCann and Gattis being back. Catcher JT Realmuto of the Marlins will likely be the favorite of offseason speculation surrounding the Astros.
Out of all Houston’s position players entering free agency, I could see Gonzalez and Maldonado returning under the right circumstances. It also depends on last year’s free agent market for non-stars and if that trend carries over into this offseason. The emergence of Tony Kemp and Tyler White gives the team more flexibility than it did even one year ago. How about AJ Reed, who has continued to perform well in Triple-A the past two seasons?
Houston also could benefit from a left-handed bat that can play first and DH. Again, Reed comes to mind. Or how about another proven right-handed bat (um, hello, Paul Goldschmidt) to help protect the “core four”? Although Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa were clearly not at full strength for part of the regular season and the entire postseason, it felt like the Astros were one hitter short all season long. I am also quite curious to see if Yuli Gurriel bounces back in 2019, but it wouldn’t hurt to explore a few external options.
Talking about the “core four”, I wouldn’t mind to see renewed efforts on a contract extension for George Springer. Same goes for Alex Bregman. I would say the same for Correa, but we already familiar with his stance on the issue. At this point, though, it is rather doubtful that the Astros are able to lock up any of three on a contract extension. It could happen, sure, but I have my concerns.