2 ways the Astros can add Niko Goodrum to the 40-man

Mandatory Credit: Detroit Free Press
Mandatory Credit: Detroit Free Press /

This past weekend, the Houston Astros made their first moves following Major League Baseball’s. lockout, signing both Niko Goodrum and Lewis Brinson. Goodrum, who joins the Astros on a major-league deal, looks at a full 40-man in front of him, while a corresponding move will be needed.

The 60-day injured list opens at the start of spring training, so moving players who are on a delayed return — Forrest Whitley, Lance McCullers Jr. and Jake Meyers — is possible. These three also may not even be out 60 days at the start of the season, and moving Whitley activates his service-time clock which isn’t beneficial to future finances.

With the 40-man roster full, here are two ways Niko Goodrum can join the Astros.

The Astros currently have a surplus of relief pitchers on their roster, who can be defined as fringe or injury prone. The 2021 season saw a handful of additions and designations for assignment due to injuries and needed depth.

With the lockout this winter, we couldn’t see any trades, but that is one move the Astros could make to add Goodrum. Pitchers like Brandon Bielak, Josh James and Bryan Abreu are now regular, optionable relievers on the roster, who won’t see many innings in the Major Leagues in 2022.

These three have experience in starting roles as well, more recently with Bielak being rotation depth in 2020 and parts of 2021. Trading team-controlled arms can be arguable depending on the pitcher, and although these three haven’t been on Luis Garcia’s level, they could be traded for a prospect to free room.

On the other hand, the Astros could designate one of their fringe relievers for assignment which includes guys like Enoli Paredes and Seth Martinez. Paredes, like Jose Siri, Rafael Montero and Martin Maldonado, has yet to report to spring training due to travel restrictions, visa issues and other personal factors respectively, as of Tuesday.

Paredes didn’t see much improvement following his injury in 2021, while finishing the season in Triple-A. The 26-year-old has a high ceiling but lacks consistent command. For Martinez, he was a Rule 5 Draft selection and late addition to the 40-man last season, but without much major-league experience, it is hard to decipher his next steps.

Right-handed pitcher Jairo Solis is in a similar boat to infielder Freudis Nova, who was DFA’d following a down season in High-A and a torn ACL. Solis hasn’t pitched since 2018 and has yet to progress past High-A, if Solis is removed, he would likely go unclaimed although having impressive peripherals.

Goodrum is joining the Astros soon with the start of spring training games on the horizon, before then, a corresponding will need to take place.

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