Justin Wilson could be a free-agent that Jeff Luhnow and the Astros consider. Wilson is a left-handed reliever who arguably had one of his best seasons last year with the Chicago Cubs.
The 31-year-old has bounced around between four teams during his eight-year professional career. He has been strictly used to get left-handed batters out. Last year he had a 3.46 ERA in 54 2/3 innings while striking out 69 batters. Wilson would fill a void the Astros have been trying to replenish in recent seasons. Over the past couple of years, Tony Sipp has taken that role, but hasn’t been as consistent.
Wilson is dominant against lefties and recorded a slash line of .190/.301/.342 with an OPS of .643. This type of consistency is something the Houston Astros will need if they want to get back to the World Series. In the postseason, manager AJ Hinch stayed with using his righties against left-handed batters, this however backfired. The biggest mistake was when Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer in the top of the 6th inning in Game 4 of the ALCS. Hinch left Josh James in after surrendering a two-out double to Christian Vazquez and Bradley did damage on the first pitch putting Boston up 6-5.
This was the turning point of the game for Houston and changed their postseason. If the Astros could have held on to that game, the series would’ve been tied 2-2. It’s baseball and anything can happen. If the Astros had a left-handed pitcher, they could trust in that situation, we could be celebrating another World Series win.
Justin Wilson signed a one-year, $4.25 million contract last season with the Cubs, and the Astros could offer him to a similar deal. Should Astros decide on bringing in Wilson, it could pay off in the long run without trading away prospects or signing a big-time reliever to a large contract. This is the type of move Luhnow has made in the past and Wilson could be the missing piece to the bullpen, which is already one of the best in baseball.