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
Free agent LHP Gio Gonzalez, whom the Houston Astros should target. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Player #2: Gio Gonzalez

The Milwaukee Brewers have still not figured out what to do with Gio Gonzalez so it’s time to solve that problem and get him in a Houston Astros uniform.  Gio is still quite impactful with his level of play with a repertoire of pitches that still can do some damage.

His four-seamer still sits in the lower 90s and his sinker, curve and change-up are still valuable tools that he has in his arsenal.

After a rocky start to the 2018 season, the two-time All-Star was able to right the ship after being traded to the Brewers before the August waiver-trade deadline this past season.

When one looks at the surface, it can befuddle as to why this man is still a free agent.  Yes, his numbers are down across the board and although he had a solid season with the Brewers, you can’t overlook the 4.91 ERA he posted during this past postseason run.  He was expected to be integral part of their success and now he’s finding himself on the outside looking in.

It always seemed to be as if Craig Counsell had a short hook on him this past season postseason and it certainly was evident in his only two appearances in Game 1 and 4 of the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It’s all good because I don’t see him being a free agent for much longer.

After posting a 7-11 record, a 4.57 ERA and 1.531 WHIP through 145.2 innings in 27 starts with the Nats, he was able to make a vast improvement with Milwaukee.  He posted a 3-0 record, a 2.13 ERA, a 0.947 WHIP through 25.1 innings in September.

His FIP decreased remarkably from 4.25 to 3.63 during that span although it may be too small of a sample size to gauge if he was that impactful.  It’s certainly important to highlight though.

His K/9 remains quite solid staying around eight with last season’s mark being at 7.8.

Based off his earnings of $66 million plus through his career, I think Houston Astros can sign the 33-year-old lefty to a two-year, $18 million deal to help get the job done.

We’ll see how this goes but I wouldn’t mind seeing an experienced arm like his in the rotation.