Houston Astros: Zack Greinke’s stance moving forward

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Astros are not the experienced, dominant rotation of that in recent years. While another season without Justin Verlander is about to begin, the team’s most experienced pitcher is Zack Greinke, who will be a free agent after this season.

Greinke is among a large pool of Astros free agents that holds Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander. While being one of the most unpredictable players in baseball, the right-hander has not thought about his baseball career after the upcoming season and will see how his body is doing by then.

The Astros have one year left of Zack Greinke, but his veteran arm could be needed next season.

With a blossoming core of young arms being developed before our eyes, Houston might be moving away from veteran arms next season. Framber Valdez, Bryan Abreu, Jose Urquidy, Cristian Javier and Forrest Whitley look to be the rotation of the future, but while having a young crop, a team will need an experienced arm to open the rotation. This could be in a re-signing of either Greinke, Verlander or McCullers, but with an expected extension of Correa, the odds of brining back more than one of these arms could be a tough task to evaluate.

At 37-years-old, Greinke could fit in a possible re-signing with the Astros once they shake out their younger players’ contracts, but the question to ask is if he wants to return to Houston? The ball club deferred the 17-year veteran’s contract until 2026, as he will make $12.5 million each year.

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The right-hander says his arm feels great, and although having regressed speed behind his pitches, Greinke isn’t feeling soreness like he has before early in spring training. While having a 4.03 ERA in 2020, his strikeout rate (9.0) was much higher than seasons during his prime.

Depending on how well Greinke’s arm and body is after this season, he will evaluate his status on playing MLB moving forward. While not saying this is it, he still has a good four possible seasons left in his body, but he is not in his prime, and for all we know, we don’t know which route Greinke will take.

A return to the National League might make the most sense for the right-hander; he would like to see more time in the batters box as he looks to hit his tenth home run and steal his tenth base. His status is still up in the air, but Greinke is at camp at the moment and has been moving at his own pace like he has his whole career.

The future Hall of Famer will still be a pricy arm on the market, but it is too early to evaluate cost at this moment in the season. It will be up the mind of the one most interesting players in the game if he wants to return on a short-term deal with the Astros or somewhere else in MLB. It’s hard to predict his next move, but his veteran arm could be effective in the middle of the rotation next season if come to it.

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The right-hander spoke about the the overall success of the Astros offense and said he wouldn’t want face this lineup when its fully healthy. This is a good sign, as Greinke has been known to say things how they are and not just hype his teammates up.