#4 Austin Hedges
Austin Hedges went semi-viral during the World Series, after putting together one of the worst at-bats imaginable. But he'd actually be a very shrewd signing for the Astros this offseason, providing everything Martín Maldonado was rumored to have brought.
The Astros are finally committing to Yainer Diaz, and only a year too late. He needs a backup. Look no further than Hedges.
Yes, Austin Hedges is a dreadful hitter, this is true. He hit .184 with a .461 OPS this season. Those numbers are almost impossibly bad. But he's a backup catcher. You don't need him for his offense.
What he does bring is genuinely elite defense.
Hedges was worth 11 DRS in 2023. In eight seasons behind the plate, he's worth 86 DRS. He finished fourth in the MLB across all position with a fielding run value of 15 this season, an astoundingly high total for only playing 567 innings.
The Astros could go from the worst team defensively behind the plate this season to one of the best by giving Yainer Diaz the primary share of innings at catcher in 2024 and giving Austin Hedges the backup innings.