Astros players with minor-league options on the 40-man roster in 2024

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Four
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Four / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Spring training is upon us and the Houston Astros appear to be largely set on the guys that they will be bringing into camp this year. There's still a chance Dana Brown adds a pitcher or another outfielder to the mix at some point, but this 40-man roster looks like the group Houston is going to put their faith in for 2024.

One factor that doesn't get talked about enough when it comes to assembling a big league roster is the presence of guys with minor-league options. Each players begins their career on the 40-man roster with three minor-league options, and any time that player is optioned back to the minor leagues for the first time in a given season for longer than a few weeks, one of those options gets used up. Players without minor-league options have to be designated for assignment, which can lead to them being lost on waiver claims or free agency.

As a result, having players that do possess minor-league options on the 40-man roster allows the team to rotate guys in and out over the course of a season much more easily without the risk of losing anybody. This is particularly important for when injuries pop up or when the Astros inevitably need some fresh arms over the course of a 162-game season.

With that in mind, here are the Houston players currently on the 40-man roster with minor-league options remaining.

Astros players with minor-league options on the 40-man roster

Which Astros players have 3 minor league options remaining?

  • Yordan Alvarez, OF/DH
  • Yainer Diaz, C
  • Chas McCormick, OF
  • Jeremy Peña, SS
  • Grae Kessinger, INF
  • Cristian Javier, RHP
  • Hunter Brown, RHP
  • Luis Garcia, RHP
  • Kenedy Corona, OF

A lot of these guys just aren't going to get optioned at all given their importance to the big league team. Unless a catastrophe happens, Alvarez, Diaz and Javier are sticking on the big league roster for the entire season. Jeremy Peña is close to a lock as well, although his performance waned last year, so there's still theoretically a chance his minor league option-ability could end up mattering.

Chas McCormick is likely to stick around as well as is Hunter Brown, with the latter's minor-league options being a point in his favor to provide some flexibility on the pitching staff. Luis Garcia's options will only matter once he's done rehabbing from Tommy John (and he's still probably safe even then). Grae Kessinger is a name to keep an eye on if he is kept on the Astros bench.

Which Astros players have 2 minor league options remaining?

  • Jake Meyers, OF
  • Framber Valdez, LHP
  • Jose Urquidy, RHP
  • JP France, RHP
  • Cesar Salazar, C
  • Trey Cabbage, INF/OF
  • David Hensley, INF
  • Corey Julks, OF
  • Dylan Coleman, RHP

You will begin to notice the decided lack of actually optionable left-handed pitchers here. In theory, the Astros could option Valdez, but sending one of the best lefties in baseball seems like a bad idea.

Beyond Valdez, though, all of these guys could feasibly see their options become relevant with Meyers, Urquidy, and Hensley all having questions about their long-term viability. The Astros just acquired Trey Cabbage as a super utility guy with major upside, but the team could also stash him in the minor leagues for a rainy day or keep him around on the bench with the knowledge he could be swapped out without much difficulty.

Which Astros players have 1 minor league option remaining?

  • Kyle Tucker, OF
  • Bryan Abreu, RHP
  • Ronel Blanco, RHP
  • Bennett Sousa, LHP
  • Shawn Dubin, RHP
  • Forrest Whitley, RHP
  • Seth Martinez, RHP
  • Parker Mushinski, LHP
  • Oliver Ortega, RHP

We finally come to some lefty relievers with a minor-league option left in Bennett Sousa and Parker Mushinski. Unfortunately, neither pitched particularly well last year, so that presumably opens the door for someone to take their jobs this spring. Of note, the only left-handed pitcher among the Astros non-roster invitees to spring training is prospect Colton Gordon, who could profile as a starter or multi-inning reliever.

Forrest Whitley is down to his last minor-league option, which puts even more pressure on him to finally perform this season. If Tucker gets optioned back to the minor leagues in 2024, the Astros are in big trouble this season (that will never happen, though).

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