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Upon Further Review the Astros Should Sign This Pitcher

The offseason is a process for me. One where I start with certain targets and then I will discover more as the options get whittled down and I revisit my initial filtering.


What if I told you that I have a new Free Agent Pitcher target that I think the Astros should sign?


Let's describe him first in my favorite "Who Am I" way.

  • I am a LHSP who is 35 years old

  • I had Tommy John surgery in March 2022

  • I came back in 2023

    • From 5/12/23 (1st start) to 8/11/23, I had a 3.36 ERA/ 3.85 FIP/ 15 GS/ 80.1 IP

    • In my last 3 starts (8/16/23- 8/26/23). 7.53 ERA/ 7.23 FIP/ 14.1 IP

    • Per Jeff Zimmerman

  • Fangraphs projects that I will

    • Deliver 2.3 WAR in 2024

    • That I will get offerred a $8M/ 1-yr contract

    • This $3.48M/ WAR efficiency makes me the number ONE efficiency FA on the LarryTheGM Free Agent tables.


With that last bullet point, now you know why he is on my radar.


Here is my SP FA table.

SP FA Table

This pitcher is James Paxton.


If you remember my screening metrics from this article Improving the 2024 Astros- Pitchers Today (larrythegm.com)


My wish list for a potential SP

  • Capable of delivering 100 IP- Projected 142 IP- Check

  • ERA/ FIP less than 4.20

    • 2023 Full season- 4.50 ERA/ 4.68 FIP- Miss

    • But the last three starts where his knee was bothering him balloned those stats.

    • From 5/12/23 (1st start) to 8/11/23- 3.36 ERA/ 3.85 FIP- Check

    • 2024 Projected - 4.02 ERA/ 4.15 FIP- Check

  • Prefer under 35- 35 - Limit

  • Prefer wOBA and xwOBA in both platoon splits to be less than 0.330 in 2023

    • wOBA

      • 2023

      • LHP- 0.347

      • RHP- 0.323

        • Career

      • LHP- 0.321

      • RHP- 0.290

    • xwOBA

      • 2023

      • LHP- 0.311

      • RHP- 0.297

        • Career

      • LHP- 0.291

      • RHP- 0.287

  • An AAV <$14M/ yr and the lower the better- projected at $8M - Check


I have never been a huge Paxton guy. If he is willing to sign for $8M, he may be the pitcher the Astros should sign.


Dana Brown has made comments that would lead one to believe a SP is not a priority for the Astros. I find the RP market to be very unattractive especially for LHRP. There are a few more attractive RHRP options, but a trade mat be needed for a true LHRP. This deal may be a late late deal that gets done if the Astros realize the SP arms are not tracking to being ready.


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