While the organization loves Maldonado for his intangibles, it is going to be a relief that he SHOULDN'T be on the Astros' roster in 2023. He was one of the worst hitters in baseball this year which could be forgiven if not for the fact that his defense cratered this year as well. Yainer Diaz is the superior player by far and the Astros have already committed to giving him the bulk of the playing time at catcher next season.
Assuming Houston doesn't bring him back which seems likely right now, Maldy should be able to get job as a backup for a good team or a stopgap for a not-so-good one. Our guess is that he is a fit in Miami where they can't spend on much on players at all, but they do have a young, exciting pitching staff that Maldonado could mentor in the twilight of his career.
Prediction: Marlins - One year, $3 million
Ryne Stanek has some interesting things going for him. He throws hard and gets a lot of value out of the pitch, misses bats at a high rate, and was lights out during the 2022 season where he posted a 1.15 ERA before coming back to earth in 2023. He walks too many guys to be trusted in the highest leverage situations, but this is a live arm.
His time in Houston has pretty clearly come to an end as there has been no indication whatsoever that the Astros are looking to bring Stanek back. However, his stuff is good enough to get a job in a big league bullpen. Our guess is the Cardinals who are going to need to add multiple arms both in the bullpen and their rotation and who seem to like guys that can throw hard.
Prediction: Cardinals - One year, $4.5 million