Ranking the Top Potential Free Agent Signings for the Astros
By Alec Brown
3) Andrew Chafin
Andrew Chafin has been discussed as a potential Astros' reliever for multiple years now. His name has popped up as a rumored deadline acquisition, but there may be no more fitting time than now for the Astros to strike, as signing Chafin won't cost them valuable prospect capital.
Manager Dusty Baker's desire for a lefty or two in the bullpen is no secret by now. Yes, Blake Taylor should be back next year, but Chafin would be able to fill Dusty's token lefty role and then some. The fastball/slider specialist finished 2022 with a 2.83 ERA in 57.1 innings. He actually posted reverse splits this year, holding righties to a .586 OPS and lefties to a .665 OPS.
Chafin's expected numbers are equally as eye-popping, finishing the year in the 89th percentile in chase rate, 87th percentile in whiff rate, 86th percentile in xBA and xSLG, 84th percentile in xERA/xwOBA and 81st percentile in hard hit rate.
The Astros just won the World Series on the backs of a lights out bullpen that both missed bats at a high clip and limited hard contact when they were hit. Chafin would slide in perfectly. Houston proved this year no team can have too many arms. A late-inning bullpen stable of Chafin, Rafael Montero, Ryne Stanek, Hector Neris, Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly would give opposing teams fits.
Signing Chafin would be a true "rich get richer" scenario. The Astros do have a couple of other areas of need they could stand to address first, but don't be surprised if the GM Committee upgrades Baker's token southpaw this offseason.