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Improving the 2024 Astros- Pitchers Today

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

In "A First Look at the 2024 Astros" we identified four key team needs. Today, we will look at some options that meet the constraints the Astros have to add at least two pitches. Here are the ways the Astros could fill their pitching needs.


You may also want to read the plan for position players here.


I will do a video tomorrow.


I limited the potential SP FA targets to those who projected to deliver at lease 1.0 WAR to reflect that the players the Astros acquire must make a material impact.


The data here is from multiple sources as described. Baseline statistics are from Fangraphs.com and Baseball Savant.



Starting Pitching- add a SP (preferably LHSP) that can deliver 100 IP


Starting Pitcher Free Agent Options

The Astros don't need an Ace pitcher. They probably need a SP that is better than average


My wish list for a potential SP

- capable of delivering 100 IP

- ERA/ FIP less than 4.20 in 2023

- Prefer under 35

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

- An AAV <$14M/ yr and the lower the better


My SP Free Agent Population started with this.

I added traffic signals (Red, Yellow, Green) to show who was missing a filter I had above. Let's filter those with 4 or more strikes. I will consider the financials and efficiency for this group.


I pulled the available projections from:

  1. Cot's

  2. MLBTR (MLB trade rumors)

  3. The Athletic

  4. Fangraphs (not included yet)

  5. My own projections (I want to see more projections first.)

I will update these as more data becomes available.

My preferences are listed because their contracts are more reasonable for the Astros.


The two LHSP are going to be pitching their 37-year-old season. The two RHSP here are not good vs. LHH which is really the need here.


Welcome to the 2023-2024 Pitching Free Agent class in the constraints the Astros will have.


Of ALL of these SP pitchers, I would sign Wade Miley to a one year deal. He would likely cost around $8M AAV.



Relief Pitching- add two RP one of whom is a LHRP


With the Neris option being declined I think the Astros will pursue at least two RPs. One of these NEEDS to be a LHRP that is effective vs. LHH.


Relief Pitching Free Agent Options


My wish list for a potential RP

- capable of delivering 50 IP

- ERA/ FIP less than 4.20 in 2023

- Prefer under 35

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

- An AAV <$14M/ yr and the lower the better


My RP Free Agent Population started with this.

I added traffic signals (Red, Yellow, Green) to show who was missing a filter I had above. Let's filter those with 5 or more strikes. I will consider the financials and efficiency for this group.

I pulled the available projections from:

  1. Cot's

  2. MLBTR (MLB trade rumors)

  3. The Athletic

  4. Fangraphs (not included yet)

  5. My own projections (I want to see more projections first.)

I will update these as more data becomes available.

My preferences are listed because I can't justify that the contracts for the others are worth it.

The two LHRP don't have projections. The one RHRP, Jordan may be the best RP for the money in the FA class. Is he worth it? I am not convinced.


Welcome to the 2023-2024 Pitching Free Agent class in the constraints the Astros will have.


I would be willing to take a flyer on Diekman or Alexander if the price was right. Folks, investing huge resources in RP is a significant gamble. Relief pitchers' performance year to year is generally very variable (we saw this with Montero). Since the Astros are really searching for the third to sixth best RP for their bullpen, I would lean towards the lowest cost and highest upside potential.


Fortunately, teams CAN trade to fill needs in addition to or instead of signing Free Agents.


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Trade Options


A few days ago, LarrytheGM and Mark Roffey (@FanOfAllTeams) went through the League Team by Team to define what their team strengths and team weaknesses are with a focus on what teams might be viable trade partners. The teams below might be willing trade partners based on those discussions.


I followed a similar process as above for the free agents as I identified the pitching trade targets.

For the trade options I explored deeply, I proposed an equitable trade based on the values from the baseballtradevalues.com website. These are EXAMPLES and give one an idea of what it would take. I used these trade values to prioritize this list. In some cases, the strikes mattered; and for some who were injured, I ignored it. I also leaned heavily towards LHRP.


My efficiency here is to have the greatest WAR impact for the least trade value cost- Minimize TV/WAR. My pitching preference targets are:

I am most interested in trading for Nick Pivetta among SP. I know he is a RHSP. The only LHSP that interested me in a trade- Heaney- makes $13M and pitches for the Rangers.


Among the RP, I would trade for Trevor McGill and take a flyer on Garrett Crochet (Mark suggested him!)

To summarize my options in order

Starting Pitching

  1. Sign Wade Miley to a 1-year deal worth about $8M OR

  2. Trade for Boston's Nick Pivetta

Relief Pitching

  1. Trade for Trevor Megill from the Brewers AND

  2. Sign Jake Diekman, Scott Alexander, or Trade for Garrett Crochet


The Astros would take care of their pitching needs with these moves. The total cost should not be over $12M/yr for the acquisition of the three pitchers.


Let me know what you think.


This is how I see the 2024 Astros improving their Pitchers.


Next time, we will pull the entire plan together to show what the Astros can really do to make the 2024 better than it was in 2023. Here is that link.




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