Astros News: Houston Settles With Phil Maton

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages
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Astros settle with reliever Phil Maton

Arbitration news continues to come in out of Houston. According to Chandler Rome, the Astros reached terms with Phil Maton, avoiding arbitration. Maton will earn $2.55 million in 2023.

The Astros acquired Maton at the 2021 trade deadline for Myles Straw. The deal also netted them Yainer Diaz, assuring a successful trade for Houston in the long haul.

Maton struggled in the 2021 regular season, but was lights out in the playoffs, throwing 12.1 innings with 14 strikeouts, good for a 0.97 WHIP and 0.73 ERA.

His 2022 regular season was better. He made 67 appearances, finishing with a 3.84 ERA and 10 strikeouts per nine. His Statcast metrics took a dive from the years previous, however, as he finished in only the 31st percentile in xERA/xwOBA, 40th percentile in xBA and 47th in xSLG.

Maton's regular season was highlighted by his immaculate innings against the Texas Rangers.

He did not get the chance to duplicate his 2021 playoff heroics after a season ending injury. Maton gave up a hit to his brother Nick in the final series of the season, and afterwards, punched a locker in disgust. The punch led to a fracture in his hand.

The Astros' bullpen was dominant over the course of the postseason, so it is unlikely Maton would have been called upon regardless. That said, decisions like that one surely didn't play into his favor heading into arbitration.

This is Maton's final season before entering free agency. His stuff has always played, possessing some of the highest spin rates in the game. If Maton can cut down on walks and regain form from the 2021 postseason, he's an invaluable piece for the Astros. If not, we may see him shopped around the deadline for a team in need of a bullpen arm that can address an Astros' area of need.

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