It is unclear if the Houston Astros were pursuing Blake Treinen, but the reliever returning to the Dodgers has an impact on Houston this winter.
The Los Angeles Dodgers re-signing Blake Treinen has a slight impact on the Houston Astros.
It is likely that the Astros at least checked in on Treinen, considering that they are actively looking to upgrade the back end of their bullpen. They are pursuing names such as Liam Hendriks and Alex Colome, and while Treinen may be a tier below the two, it limits the number of impact arms the team can pursue to pitch in the ninth inning.
Treinen’s contract – two years, $17.5 million with a club option worth $8 million – is modest and indicative that Hendriks is going to get paid on the open market. Any team that hopes to land Hendriks will have to be willing to go to four years and likely $12-13 million per year, if not more, and it is uncertain if the Astros will be willing to commit to such a deal with the outfield desperately needing addressed.
But with Treinen off the board, the Astros may have to get uncomfortable to secure the player they covet to man the ninth inning. Or they could become more aggressive in pursuing Colome or Brad Hand, another free-agent reliever who had a $10 million club option declined by the Cleveland Indians.
The most likely scenario is that the Astros pay for Colome or Hand while Hendriks goes to the Chicago White Sox or Toronto Blue Jays. While Hand is drawing interest from multiple teams, the expectation is that he will command a deal less than his original club option. And Colome will likely land a multi-year deal, though the financials of what a potential deal would look like are uncertain.
So how the Astros move from here is critical, but maintaining flexibility to address the outfield will be key when they eventually sign a reliever. On Tuesday night, however, their options dwindled. How they proceed from here will be critical in determining the rest of their offseason – and how the bullpen performs once the season arrives.