Astros exercise Brooks Raley’s option for 2021 season
The Houston Astros exercised Brooks Raley’s club option for the 2021 season.
As had been expected, the Houston Astros picked up the $2 million club option on lefthanded pitcher Brooks Raley. The 32-year-old will be back in manager Dusty Baker’s bullpen in 2021 after a strong first season with the club.
The team acquired Raley in August in exchange for a player to be named later after he’d been designated for assignment by the Reds. He made 17 appearances for the Astros in the 2020 regular season, posting a 3.94 ERA and an impressive 0.750 WHIP in 16 innings of work. He was bit by the long ball a few times, but otherwise was excellent.
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He became one of Baker’s go-to guys and pitched to a 3.18 ERA in the postseason. He doesn’t throw hard, barely reaching 90 mph with his fastball, but he held lefthanded hitters to a pitiful .407 OPS this year, so bringing him back at a $2 million salary was a pretty easy call to make, especially with veterans Roberto Osuna, Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock no longer with the team.
Raley had a pretty circuitous route to Houston. He went to high school in Uvalde and played college ball at Texas A&M, then was drafted by the Cubs in the sixth round of the 2009 draft. He struggled in 14 major league appearances between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, struggled in the minors in 2014, and then pitched five seasons in Korea. This was his first year back in the US, and he caught on quite well with the Astros.
Raley will join Ryan Pressly, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor and Andre Scrubb in the Houston bullpen. Veteran Joe Smith will presumably return next year after sitting out this season. That’s six arms, but GM James Click is likely to add one or two additions via free agency to give the bullpen some more experience, as Raley, Paredes, Taylor and Scrubb were all rookies this year.