Rafael Montero – $2,725,000
In the grand scheme of things this isn’t horrible and it’s off the books after season and I also liked what I saw from Montero in his four Astro appearances last season.
However, Montero’s career numbers — 5.18 ERA, more hits allowed than innings pitched, 1.561 WHIP — and injury history are warning signs that production is not likely to equal salary.
The cost is sunk, but at what point do you give an internal candidate an opportunity and eat that cost?
To be clear, there’s a chance this one flips to at least neutral, but based on what we know today it’s difficult to see the Astros earning a positive return on investment. For comparison, Phil Maton makes $1.55 million.
Hector Neris – $8,000,000
There are those that believe in Neris, but he was all over the place for the Phillies last year, failing as a closer, then turning it around in a less stressful role including a stretch of 15 outings with a 1.23 ERA, so perhaps he’ll thrive in Houston.
While I’m open minded about his chance for success in H-Town, Neris is left handed and strikes out 11.5 batters per nine innings, so he gets a big salary, but the jury is out in my mind on the $8,000,000 price.