Jose Urquidy has changed agents with the hiring of Scott Boras earlier this week, which could alter his future with the Astros.
Houston Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy changed agents to Scott Boras at the conclusion of the season’s first half. Urquidy was previously represented by the agency group Excel, whose clientele includes Clayton Kershaw, George Springer and Kyle Schwarber, among others. Boras, however, is arguably the single most notorious player agent in all of sports. Most recently, he has been overseeing the slowly deteriorating Juan Soto situation in Washington.
The change comes ahead of an important time in Urquidy’s career, as he is about to be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. He clearly wants to get some extra leverage for himself in the event that his next contract needs to be resolved by a third-party arbitrator amidst a dispute between him and the Astros’ organization.
This news means that Astros fans can essentially eliminate any chance that Urquidy will take a team-friendly deal in the future. So far, he has the highest single-season ERA and FIP of his career at 4.09 and 4.44 respectively (excluding the shortened 2020). The timing of this performance isn’t opportune for anyone within the organization who is hoping that he will take a pay cut to allow them to pay their other young pitchers down the road. Switching to Boras in the midst of what is technically a career-worst season makes it appear as though Urquidy is going to ask for more than what he has proven to be worth this season.
An interesting wrinkle in this situation is the fact that the Astros have a surplus of arms and they’re looking to acquire a bat at the deadline. They’re 16th in MLB in runs scored despite having the 3rd-best record. With the heightened likelihood that he’ll ask for more money than a contender like the Astros are willing to give him this winter, as well as the fact that he’s still 3 years shy of his 30th birthday, he might be the most expendable pitcher on their staff.
It’s entirely possible that, with the circumstances that come with Boras becoming his agent, the Astros will be more inclined to trade him in a package for a hitter with team control at the trade deadline. Urquidy has had his moments in the team’s numerous postseason runs of late, but the hard truth is that pitchers such as Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia deserve the kind of money a Boras client usually gets more than he does. There are multiple scenarios that Urquidy’s hiring of Scott Boras turns into his ticket out of Houston.