Predicting where each of the remaining Astros free agents are going to sign

Several former Astros still have yet to find new homes this offseason.
Oct 11, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Michael Brantley (23)
Oct 11, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Michael Brantley (23) / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Hector Neris

Coming off back to back strong seasons in the Astros bullpen, Hector Neris now finds himself as one of the better relievers on the market. He wasn't quite as good as his 1.71 ERA in 2023 suggests, but he has consistently missed bats at a high rate since 2016 and he clearly believes he is going to get paid given that he declined his player option with the Astros for next season.

Neris' inconsistent walk rates could be a little spooky for teams and he does have some less than ideal on the field incidents on his record that could present some character concerns. Neris is going to need to find a team that has money to spend, needs bullpen help, and has strong clubhouse leadership in place to keep him on the rails. The Cubs feel like the best fit right now, although Houston should still try to push to bring him back.

Michael Brantley

Finally, we come to Michael Brantley. For five seasons straight, Brantley was basically a lock to post a 120+ wRC+ every season at the plate. He has never been a masher, but he consistently puts the ball in play and has a strong approach at the plate that allows him to get the most out of what he has physically. Unfortunately, he is also now 36 years old and is coming off a lost season after struggles during shoulder surgery rehab.

Houston is trying to win next season and unfortunately, they can't rely on much from Brantley at this stage in his career. Brantley does seem to like signing short-term deals in states where taxes don't take too big a bite out of his paycheck and he is going to probably land with a team can't spend a ton, but is looking to add a bat to try to sneak in as a "last wild card spot" type. That is the Marlins to the T, so that is the guess here.

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