Astros lose talented pitcher to waiver claim from the team you'd least expect

Houston's bullpen depth took a hit yesterday as they lost a talented arm to the waiver wire.
Chicago White Sox v Colorado Rockies
Chicago White Sox v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

While the Houston Astros may be done making major moves this offseason, fans can fully expect them to continue to make minor roster changes from now up until the start of the 2024 season. These sorts of minor moves may not end up looking like much now, but are often the difference between good teams and great ones simply because they, in theory, increase the depth of the roster.

Earlier this month, the Astros made one such move when they claimed Declan Cronin off of waivers from White Sox. Cronin just made his big league debut in 2023 with Chicago, where he got knocked around a good bit in limited playing time, but his numbers in the minors were more promising with a 3.83 ERA in 47 appearances.

However, the Astros decided that he was expendable not long after they acquired him and designated him for assignment to make 40-man roster room. Yet again, Cronin failed to make it through the waiver wire, as the Marlins decided to claim him on Wednesday.

Astros lose Declan Cronin on waiver claim from the Marlins

There is no need for hyperbole here, as Cronin was more a nice potential depth piece than a perceived big part of Houston's bullpen plans. The Astros are loaded in the late innings, and while having Cronin around as an option was nice, it wasn't likely to move the needle too much. Houston has enough depth to get by this spring, so there is little in the way of opportunity cost.

What is more surprising is that the Marlins of all teams were the ones to make the waiver claim. While Miami SHOULD be looking for low cost options that can help them, while trying to spend a bit to help out the young guys they have on their roster, the Marlins have chosen instead to do almost nothing to add to their roster. They've been trying to cut costs at every opportunity. One guess is that they figured out that they do have to field a roster on Opening Day and Cronin was cheap enough.

We will see more roster shuffling in the coming days and weeks as Astros spring training gets rolling in a week or so. Fans shall see soon who ends up making the cut before Opening Day 2024.

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