Potential free agent fits the Astros could pursue
As free agency approaches, here are some free agents who could potentially be targets for the Astros.
Now that the 2018 season is over, the offseason begins. This means the Astros will be hard at work trying to get back to the pinnacle of the sport after falling short this year. With free agency looming, here’s a look at a few impending free agent players who could potentially be fits for the team.
This list excludes the obvious — sorry fans, but the Astros aren’t signing Clayton Kershaw or Bryce Harper. It also excludes the team’s own free agents, some of whom could end up returning. Mainly, these are guys I could see being quality additions to the 2019 club.
The Astros could certainly use some extra thump in the lineup, and with Evan Gattis‘ departure, there’s potentially an opening at DH. The team could fill it internally with Tyler White, but Cruz has popped at least 37 homers in each of the last four seasons. The righthander would enjoy swinging at the Crawford Boxes for half his games, and at age 38, he wouldn’t require a lengthy commitment.
It’s no secret the team needs to address the catching position, as Martin Maldonado is a free agent, and Brian McCann is likely to join him. If the Astros find the asking price for J.T. Realmuto to be off-putting, Ramos would be a welcome addition. His .306/.358/.487 line from 2018 is nearly identical to his 2016 output, and the team could bring back Maldonado or use Max Stassi as a nice complement. Ramos may be fairly expensive, but he’d bring a plus bat at a position that lacks one.
There’s uncertainty around the Astros rotation thanks to Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton being free agents, along with Lance McCullers Jr‘s injury concerns. Pomeranz is coming off a horrid season (6.08 ERA) but is still young and would be a great buy-low candidate. He’s just one year removed from 17 wins and a 3.32 ERA for Boston, and as a guy who relies heavily on a big curveball, no doubt the team’s coaching staff could help him out.
The Astros have tried and tried to get Britton to Houston with no success. Maybe this is when they finally make it happen. With Tony Sipp a free agent, the team has no lefthanded bullpen option to speak of. Britton’s control issues and diminished strikeout rates over the past three seasons are concerning, but if they think they can help improve those numbers, he could be another big weapon for manager AJ Hinch.