The Astros look to be heading into camp with Roy Oswalt heading their rotation, but not much else. They used 10 different starters last year, and the only one who made more than 10 starts and had an ERA under 4.50 was Oswalt. So they surely could be looking at the free agent starters. Word is that they’ve made an offer to Shawn Chacon.
There’s no word on exactly what the offer was, but from the article it appears it’s a Major League deal. It’s also uncertain if the teams are even close as far as terms. I’d assume that the Astros offered a one-year deal.
I’m not really familiar with the Astros system, other than it’s ranked near or at the bottom of the league. They have a couple of young guys listed on the 40-man roster: Paul Estrada, Samuel Gervacio, Brad James, Fernando Nieve, Felipe Paulino, Chad Reineke, and Wesley Wright, though I know nothing about any of them, other than that they’re my age or younger. They also have former Padre Jack Cassel. Do any ‘Stros fans see them as being better than Chacon?
Chacon has shown flashes of solidness in his career. He was stellar in the first half of 2003, going 8-2 with a 3.17 ERA through June 2. The wheels came off after that, though, as he allowed 12 runs over 3.2 innings in his next start against Kansas City, pumping his ERA up more than a run. He made 10 starts after that game, most mediocre, a couple really good, and a few real bad ones. He ended the season early due to injury.
He is perhaps most famous for his role in 2005 with the Yankees, when he pitched brilliantly in August and September, essentially leading the team, along with Jason Giambi, to the playoffs.
His problem, as I see it, has always been that he walks too many guys. He’s got a good curveball, but seemingly doesn’t have the fastball to make it a knockout offering. He’s looking to be a starter, despite success last year in Pittsburgh’s pen. He definitely has a shot to start in Houston.