Pitchers and catchers report in two weeks. Should the Astros sign free agent pitcher Clay Buchholz to a short term deal to help Houston’s rotation?
Spring Training is right around the corner and the Astros have been eerily quiet in the hot stove rumors. With the limited number of free agent pitchers left to pick from, maybe GM Jeff Luhnow could sign Buchholz to a one-year deal. This would allow Houston’s rookie pitchers to get their feet wet and not be thrown into the fire.
The Astros still just have Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Collin McHugh as the only three starting pitchers in the rotation with any real major league experience. The trade market for starting pitchers is slowing down and there are no real signs of a Dallas Keuchel signing. Buchholz could be an inexpensive, short-term fix.
Buchholz seemed to have a revival of his career last season. The Arizona Diamondbacks scooped him up after he opted out of his contract with Kansas City when he learned he was destined for the minors. That turned out quite well for Arizona.
Last season Buchholz started 16 games winning seven, against only two losses. He ended the season with an ERA of 2.01 and a 3.2 WAR. He maintained a strikeout ratio of 7.3/9 while walking only two batters per nine innings. His career ERA is 3.86 with a .579 winning percentage.
The only injury issue he had last season was a strained oblique that put him on the DL for a short period of time. If healthy, he could be a nice asset to the pitching squad and be a quality mentor for the rookies to learn under. His contract last year was for $1.5 million, making him a low-cost, low-risk option. Might be something for Luhnow to consider.