Jake Odorizzi to Houston?
Free Agent Jake Odorizzi: On Wednesday, the news broke out of the Houston Astros’ camp that starting pitcher Framber Valdez had fractured his ring finger on his throwing hand. The injury came in an exhibition game against the Mets on Tuesday when a comebacker off Francisco Lindor’s bat struck Valdez’s throwing hand.
The Astros’ doctors viewed the injury, and they stated that Valdez’s finger would require surgery. The Astros wanted to receive a second opinion on the injury before they assessed the situation any further.
The Astros are fooling themselves if they think that Valdez is not going to need surgery. However, the Astros are very lucky in the sense that they can fix this issue and become better by signing Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi in 2019
Jake Odorizzi’s lone All-Star season came in 2019. The 30-year-old wing has been a definite back end of the rotation guy for most of his career. He has a cumulative record of 62-56 with a 3.92 ERA in nine big league seasons.
In 2019, Odorizzi had the best season of his career. With Minnesota, he posted a record of 15-7 with 178 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.28.
These statistics put Odorizzi on the map and made fans very excited about the pitcher coming into 2020. As we all know, 2020 was devastating for a lot of players because of the delayed season start. This was the case for Odorizzi.
Injuries plagued Odorizzi in 2020, which caused him only to throw 13.2 innings during the entire season. The Twins did not elect to offer Odorizzi enough money to keep him with the team.
The Hottest Free Agent in Baseball
Jake Odorizzi is the hottest free agent in baseball. He was not the most talented pitcher in the 2021 free-agent class, but it’s amazing that a player of his caliber is still available with Opening Day rapidly approaching.
Odorizzi has received contract offers, but nothing has been good enough for him to sign just yet. There are multiple teams in the big leagues that could use a quality starter like Odorizzi, and now Houston is on the market.
Odorizzi was going to wait until the season started and an injury occurred to sign with a team. This tactic would inevitably cause his stock to rise, and it appeared to happen earlier than he thought if Houston does extend an offer.
How Would Odorizzi Fit in Houston?
If Houston wants to contend for an American League pennant, I firmly believe that they need to do everything within reason to grab Odorizzi. Houston has money left in their payroll, but they desired to save it for the trade deadline.
Although, with Valdez out, it’s now make-or-break time for the Astros, and Odorizzi is the solution to the problem.
The Astros could stay in their organization to replace Valdez with Luis Garcia. Garcia has limited experience in the show. He pitched 12.1 innings and went 0-1 in the 2020 regular season for the Astros.
Garcia was expected to start the season in the Astros’ farm system or in the big league bullpen. If the Astros do not sign Odorizzi, Garcia will be the first man to fill the void.
Going with Garcia is not the right choice if Houston wants to win in 2021. Garcia is talented, but he is not as reliable as Jake Odorizzi.
Astros’ General Manager James Click is very familiar with the free-agent pitcher. He served as Tampa Bay’s GM when Odorizzi was a member of the club from 2013 to 2017. Odorizzi pitched 700 innings in that period while posting a 3.82 ERA.
Allegedly, Odorizzi wants $13-15 million per year to join a club. I do not believe he is worth this amount, so he may have to drop his asking price to find a home. I think he is closer to a $12 million per year player, and he may join Houston if they extend this monetary amount because of the team’s talent.
The Astros have $13.8 million left to keep them under the luxury tax, so a deal with Odorizzi is possible if they want to pick up a reliable starter. Odorizzi to Houston makes sense, and I deem that it will happen in the next week.