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 Derek Holland, whom the Houston Astros should target. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Player #3: Derek Holland

Yes, seriously guys.  The Houston Astros need to strongly consider bringing Derek Holland into the fold.  The former scapegoat for the team’s insistent thirst for the long ball when he was the long-time starter for the Texas Rangers is now a free agent after a surprisingly-solid season with the San Francisco Giants.

After being ranked 8th in the AL in 2017 with 31 total home runs given up, he shored it up when joining the Giants and it could very well extend the life of the 32-year-old’s career.

The fact that Holland 8.8 K/9 was good for 10th in the NL actually gives me the opportunity to raise my brow a bit.  One wonder if he makes a return back to the AL on if he’d be as effective and I think he’d honestly can.

Hot. The trade package that will get J.T. Realmuto in a Astros' uniform. light

He’s quite familiar with the Houston Astros, having faced them as a division-rival over the years and he’d be a near-perfect fit for the team, especially if he’s gotten that homer-giving-up problem out of his system.

In fact, Holland went 7-9 with a 3.57 ERA along with tossing 169 strikeouts and cutting the homers allowed relatively in half with just 19 of those to his credit.  His 1.29 WHIP could use some work but it’s hard not to ignore his 3.87 FIP, to which all things considered, is above-average.

He pitched 171.1 innings which that’s quite solid considering that there were many starters on the roster from last season’s Houston Astros team that didn’t quite hit that mark.

His 92-mph four-seam fastball can get him into trouble at times but I think he’s found a way to curtail the issues of the past so I do think it’s worth taking a flyer on him.

I could see myself signing Holland to a two-year, $6 million deal with an option in the third-year and that’s what should be thrown at him in terms of the cash.  We’ll see.