The Houston Astros optioning Joe Biagini off the roster could mean the end of his time with the team.
To say things haven’t gone well for Joe Biagini in Houston would be a gross understatement. His struggles have led the Astros to option him to their alternate training site in Corpus Christi to make room on the roster for the returning Chris Devenski. With that being the case, it’s fair to wonder if we’ll see him on this team again.
The Astros acquired Biagini in July 2019 from the Blue Jays along with pitcher Aaron Sanchez and minor league outfielder Cal Stevenson in exchange for outfielder Derek Fisher. Sanchez didn’t last long in Houston and from the looks of things, Biagini may not last much longer.
Down the stretch in 2019, Biagini made 13 appearances and pitched to a 7.36 ERA in 14.2 innings, allowing 21 hits, nine walks and six homers in that stretch. A lot of that damage came in one outing when he allowed six earned runs without recording an out, but he’d had a couple nice seasons in Toronto, so the hope was that he could rebound in 2020.
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That has not been the case, however. He spent time on the Injured List and was scored upon in all four of his appearances this season, giving up 10 earned runs in just 4.1 innings overall. Brad Peacock and Jose Urquidy are close to returning to the pitching staff as well, so it seems unlikely the team would call on Biagini again this season.
On the Outs
The Astros can retain Biagini via arbitration through the 2022 season, but the question is whether they will choose to do so or not. He’s earning the prorated portion of $1 million this season and would likely get that much, if not a little more, for 2021. Do they want to gamble that much on a possible turnaround next season?
It may come down to whether the team thinks they can fix him, and one has to wonder if they have the answers considering how badly he’s struggled. Rather than pay him, the Astros might just end up non-tendering him this offseason and letting him get a fresh start elsewhere. A change of scenery might do him some good.
Rosters may go back to 26 next season, and though the Astros will lose a few players, namely Brad Peacock and possibly Roberto Osuna, they may be better off spending their money on another pitcher and letting Biagini leave.