Houston Astros: Will Harris must be re-signed to shore up the bullpen

Houston Astros pitcher Will Harris (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Houston Astros pitcher Will Harris (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros pitcher Will Harris was extremely solid last season and is now a free agent. He must be re-signed to ensure the bullpen is shored up. Why?

The Houston Astros are tearing through the offseason and there’s plenty of work to do to try to get this team shaped to be able to compete in 2020.  Most of the team is under contract and the front office will have less work to do on that front than in past seasons but there are some holes to fill at different positions on the field and they must be addressed as soon as possible.

We know that the core of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and Michael Brantley will be back next season as all are under contract.  However, George Springer is going into his final season of being arbitration-eligible so although he will be back, what he’ll make in 2020 remains to be seen.

If the Houston Astros decide to stave off giving Springer a long-term deal this season, he’s estimated to cost about $21.4 million for next season alone so they may want to give him a long-term deal now with the promise of escalating pay until its completion.  The floor for negotiating such a contract should be right at a five-year deal worth $100 million.

So there’s little to shore up for the positional side of the baseball but how about pitching?  This is where the Houston Astros will concentrate most of their resources on because it’s possible they’ll need one — possibly two starters — going into next season.

It’ll also help for them to nab some relievers as well — particularly lefties — for the upcoming season as well.

But here’s an easy move for the Houston Astros to make.  It’s definitely going to be re-signing Will Harris back with the team.  At age 35, he’s still putting together a strong case for him to be a key part of the bullpen and I think this can continue for a few more seasons.

Harris just completed a one-year, $4.2 million deal for 2019 and I think a pay bump to $5M for 2020 or a two-year, $10 million pact would be a fair offer for Harris.  We’ll have to see where they stand but I’d imagine that they’d want him to come back.

Harris’ role was what I’d liken to a janitor.  Any time that there was a mess, especially in the

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postseason, he’d have to go in and clean things up.  He’d do it magnificently, quietly and go about his business of helping this team not only stay in but win games as well.

Although his numbers are not near what they were in 2016, by far the best season of his career when he was an All-Star, I think he can still provide a valuable contribution to this team.

The four saves he recorded this past season is most he’s had over the past three which is impressive considering that there are not many opportunities for him to save games in his current role.

But bar none, Harris needs to be back on this team so that he can continue to impress us all with his cutter and his curveball to continuously strike guys out.  His admirable performance against the New York Yankees throughout the ALCS was, by far, one of the finer moments of his career in the postseason.

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Let’s get it done Houston Astros — I’d like to see him back out on the diamond at the Juicebox!

Harris posted a 4-1 record, a 1.50 ERA, along with 62 strikeouts to 10 earned runs with an excellent 3.15 FIP and 0.933 WHIP through 60.0 innings pitched in 68 games last season.