When a player is not tendered a contract, that player becomes a free agent. After last night’s non-tender deadline there are now 43 “extra” free agents. Let’s take a look at five names that may interest the Houston Astros.
Daniel Hudson (SP) - Originally drafted in the 5th round in the 2008 draft by the Chicago White Sox, Hudson will be a popular free agent this winter. The right hander will miss most of the 2014 season rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery but could be a nice investment for the Astros. The 26-year old had a 3.49 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 222 innings pitched in 2011 and he’s bound to receive interest from many teams.
John Axford (RP) – Axford, 30, has several seasons of closing experience for the Milwaukee Brewers. Axford had 104 saves between 2010 and 2012 for the Brewers, but struggled in 2013 with the Brewers before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Axford had a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 IP with the Cardinals, but Axford is due around $5 million in arbitration, something the Cardinals didn’t want to pay for a guy that won’t close for them. The Astros are in the market for a closer, and this would be a great opportunity for Axford to regain his closer value.
Andrew Bailey (RP) - Bailey will likely miss the first half of the season following labrum and shoulder surgery, but could be a nice investment for a team like the Astros. Bailey has a career 2.64 ERA and 1.055 WHIP in 218 innings pitched over five seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox. The 29-year old is expected to make close to $4 million in arbitration which may be too much for non-contending team like the Astros.
Daniel Bard (RP) - Bard, 28, was a 1st round pick by the Boston Red Sox in 2006. Bard was a top prospect for the Red Sox for several seasons but has struggled his last few seasons. Bard has a career 3.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 257.1 innings pitched all for the Red Sox. Bard was claimed off waivers this past September by the Chicago Cubs but never appeared in a game. Bard is currently struggling in winter ball but could be a solid addition to a struggling Astros bullpen .
Garrett Jones (1B) - One of the older players on this list, Jones, 32, is coming off a 15 HR, 51 RBI season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Jones signing would be similar to the signing of Carlos Pena last season, hoping that he may be due for a rebound season. Jones hit 27 HR with 86 RBI and a .832 OPS for the Pirates in 2012, and may be a possible signing if the Astros want another veteran presence at first base.
Other Possible Players That May Interest The Astros
- SP – Tommy Hanson (27)
- RP – Mitchell Boggs (29)
- RP – Wesley Wright (28)
- RP – Ryan Webb (27)
- 1B – Mat Gamel (28)
- OF – Sam Fuld (32)
- OF – Chris Coghlan (28)