4 Astros players that won't be back in 2024

The Astros could see some significant changes to their roster heading into the 2024 season.
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Four
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Four / David Berding/GettyImages
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Martin Maldonado

The Martin Maldonado discussion has been beaten to death at this point. After forging a career in Houston as a strong defender and elite game caller behind the plate despite the fact that he couldn't hit, Father Time finally came for those tools and he turned into the one of the worst players in baseball in 2023.

The fundamental problem with having Maldy on the roster at all is that Houston simply loves him too much. Some of that is on seemingly outgoing manager Dusty Baker wanting to run Maldonado out there as much as possible, but Houston has a strictly better catcher on their roster right now in Yainer Diaz that kept losing playing time because Houston (over)valued Maldonado's game management skills in 2023.

For Dana Brown and co. in the front office, the decision needs to be made to move on. Maldy is 37 years old and just posted a season where he put up a 66 wRC+ at the plate, saw his defensive metrics crater, and posted the third lowest fWAR (-1.2) among all hitters in MLB that that made at least 400 plate appearances this season.

In an ideal world, keeping Maldonado around as Diaz's backup catcher would be fine so that the elder catcher could mentor Yainer before calling it a career. However, Houston cannot be trusted with such an arrangement given how the playing time situation played out this year, so letting him walk this offseason is the strictly better option.