Astros: Free agent options to add left-handed relief to bullpen
Will Smith (not Harris) is undoubtedly the best overall reliever on the market this winter. He’s 30 years old and is coming off an All-Star season with the Giants, working to a 2.76 ERA and 6-0 record in 63 appearances, notching 34 saves.
He strikes out batters at a high rate and doesn’t give up many hits. His home run rate spiked this year, but so did almost everyone else’s. His market is going to be hampered by the fact that he received a qualifying offer, and he could be a candidate to accept it in order to avoid a repeat of the Craig Kimbrel situation from last winter.
If he declines the offer, it seems unlikely that the Astros would pay top dollar for a reliever AND surrender a draft pick to do so. MLB Trade Rumors predicts Smith to land a three-year, $42 million deal, which seems rich for Houston’s blood, especially if they’re going after Gerrit Cole. Smith would be a huge boost to the Astros bullpen, but let’s call this one highly unlikely.
Drew Pomeranz is probably the second-best lefty available, which would have seemed unlikely a few months ago. He’s been a starter for most of his career and struggled in that role with the Giants, but a midseason trade to Milwaukee turned his fortunes around considerably.
Pomeranz posted a 2.39 ERA in 25 appearances for the Brewers, striking out 45 batters in 26.1 innings. His fastball velocity ticked up in his move to the bullpen and he still has a sharp curveball. He seems like the type of pitcher the Astros covet, so there’s a chance they could kick the tires on him. MLBTR predicts him to land a two-year, $16 million deal.