On the flip side of the bullpen debate, consistency is king when teams look at relief arms. Bullpen arms are already the most volatile asset in all of baseball on a year-to-year basis, so teams want to at least see peripherals that show consistency when guys are on the mound and unfortunately, Ryne Stanek falls short in that regard.
Stanek does have some things going for him. That fastball of his is a legit high octane offering and his splitter is better than he is given credit for. However, his command issues are fairly well documented and he also has the unfortunate problem of giving up a good bit of hard contact AND not being able to keep the ball on the ground. Bad things happen when balls are hit hard and are elevated with runners on base.
For the 2023 season, Stanek made a relatively modest $3.6 million in his last year of arbitration. If he were willing to take a relatively cheap multi-year deal, Houston would likely go for that as he has real upside when he is on.
However, other teams are likely to be more willing to take on the risk associated with him given that he put up a very strong 2022 season (1.15 ERA in 59 appearances) before coming back to earth this past season. As his price point goes up, the less attractive Stanek becomes as a bullpen option and Houston may just be better served to move on altogether here.