Astros Reliever Targets: A-Tier
These relievers would be fine additions to the Astros, but may not have the same likelihood of reaching their potential or have the same upside as the S-tier group. These guys may also be the most likely grouping from which Houston could choose from as they should all be able to be signed to reasonable contracts this offseason.
Yet another familiar face, Phil Maton just posted his best season as a pro in 2023 with a 3.00 ERA in 66 innings of work. He misses bats and gets a lot of soft contact despite not exactly lighting up the radar gun and clearly Houston is familiar with how to get the most out of his stuff. The Astros shouldn't get in a bidding war over him, but a reunion makes a ton of sense at a reasonable price.
If Keynan Middleton could limit his walks more, he would be considered one of the absolute best relievers on the free agent market. He pitched his brains out after being traded to the Yankees at the trade deadline, misses bats, and is really hard to square up. Put him on the Astros with their analytics department and infield defense and he could be a force to be reckoned with.
One of the unsung heroes for the Braves this season was Joe Jimenez who gave Atlanta some big time relief innings in the second half of 2023. He has a quality fastball and throws a lot of strikes even though he can get hit hard when he is off. Jimenez will be in demand this offseason, but he shouldn't command too much of a premium and would be a great 7th or 8th inning guy to add to the Houston bullpen.
Lefty bullpen arms are always needed and one of the better ones on the free agent market is going to be Brent Suter. Suter doesn't get a ton of attention, but he somehow posted a 3.38 ERA in 2023 despite playing in the pitching wasteland that is Colorado. He is a bit of a junkballer as his fastball averages around 87 MPH, but he is great at getting soft contact and his changeup has been borderline untouchable for a couple years now. His fastball velo may give the Astros some pause, but this guy can pitch and would be a solid pick-up.