Javier is better as a starter than a reliever, but the Astros can’t seem to find a spot for him in the rotation.
That makes it tempting to trade Javier and get a bullpen piece in return. I’m of the opinion that the rotation is not as stacked as some believe and the 2023 rotation could look markedly different.
Justin Verlander’s contract is not actually two years, but rather one year with a player option for 2023. To trigger the option Verlander has to hit 130 innings in 2022, but even if he does Verlander could elect to finish his career somewhere else, say back in Detroit.
Couple that with Lance McCullers Jr.’s injury history and it makes you start to wonder. In addition, Jake Odorizzi’s 2023 player option can be bought out for $3.2 million. Quality starting pitching doesn’t grow on trees and isn’t cheap to acquire if you go that route.
Yet, the Astros have an experienced starter at a minimal cost already on the roster. If we know one thing about pitchers it’s this: It’s not if injuries are going to occur, it’s when and how bad is it?
I believe Javier should be in the rotation, but if not, he should be insurance as the season progresses and when an injury to a starter inevitably happens.