Houston Astros: 4 free agent starting pitchers the team should still target

Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and owner Jim Crane (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros
Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros need to fill one — possibly two — starting rotation spots for 2019. Here are four SP’s that the team should target. Take a look.

The Houston Astros are in a quandary with shaping the roster for the 2019 season, particularly on the pitching front.  The team has made significant progress with the positional players, signing talented outfielder Michael Brantley as well as Aledmys Diaz, a young, versatile player with plenty of upside.

But the question remains on how the Houston Astros will fill the rest of the starting rotation for 2019.  With Dallas Keuchel in the unique position of paring down his offers from multiple teams interested in him to Charlie Morton agreeing to a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, the team has some concerns about filling the void left by those two in the starting rotation.  Lest we not forget that Lance McCullers Jr. will miss all of 2019 with him going under the knife to have Tommy John‘s surgery.

It’s at least relieving to know that Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are the No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers in the rotation but it remains to be seen how they’ll fill out the rest.

What should the Houston Astros address moving forward in addition to Brantley?  Take a listen to my guys Robert Land and R.G. Seal on Houston Sports Talk, a home-grown podcast:

It’s highly likely that Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock will be promoted back into the starting rotation which would be the answer for two spots but how about the 5th?  There are certainly in-house options in Josh James, Framber Valdez and possibly Francis Martes but I’d rather have those guys fill-in rather than be a weekly starter.

Out of all of the aforementioned, I would be fairly comfortable with James because of his ability to remain calm and collective, especially in high-pressure situations.  He demonstrated all of that this past postseason but in all efforts to keep that talented arm fresh, there are some strong free agent options that the Houston Astros can target in order to keep the rotation stout.

The cream-of-the-crop free agents have been snatched up for the most part but there are still some valuable additions the team could make to back-fill such a critical position.

Let’s take a look a four pitchers that could make a difference for the Houston Astros.