Astros non-tender Aaron Sanchez, making him free agent

The Astros did not tender a contract to pitcher Aaron Sanchez.

In a move that wasn’t much of a surprise, the Astros elected to non-tender pitcher Aaron Sanchez. This makes him a free agent, as the team clearly was not interested in paying him what he would have earned next season. He is the only player to be non-tendered by the team.

Sanchez was eligible for arbitration for the 2020 season and was projected to earn $5.6 million. He missed the end of the 2019 season with a shoulder injury that required surgery, and the recovery is expected to last into next season.

With that being the case, the front office clearly did not wish to commit around $5.6 million to a pitcher who wouldn’t be ready for the start of the season. This doesn’t rule out the possibility of the team re-signing him at a lower salary, but he’s now on the open market for any team to scoop him up.

Of course, Sanchez came to Houston in a trade in July along with Joe Biagini in exchange for outfielder Derek Fisher. He threw the first six innings of a combined no-hitter in his first start for the team in early August but had an overall 4.82 ERA in his four starts before hitting the shelf.

Still just 27 years old, Sanchez has plenty of time to bounce back and plenty of potential. He led the league in ERA and winning percentage in 2016, but things haven’t gone so well for him the past few seasons.

Meanwhile, the Astros have a projected starting rotation of Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jose Urquidy. They’re in the market to add at least one more starter, if not more, before next season kicks off.

Stick with Climbing Tal’s Hill for all your offseason coverage. We’ll be waiting with bated breath for news of GM Jeff Luhnow’s impending moves.

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