Arbitration Eligibles: Houston Astros

The Astros are next in our arbitration eligibles series

Pence, Rodriguez, and Bourn are the biggest names from the Astros' sizeable arbitration class.  Pence has a good case for a $3MM raise, which would put him at $6.5MM for 2011.  The Astros will continue to enjoy the savings from beating Rodriguez in arbitration last year, but they'll still owe him $7MM or more next year.  We learned in August that Wandy seeks an extension, and we suggested at the time that three years and $24MM could work.  Bourn could get a couple million more on the strength of his run and steal totals; he figures to stay.

Lindstrom had a rough finish, losing the closing job to Brandon Lyon as he dealt with a back injury.  His raise could be limited to about $1MM.  Paulino remains interesting enough to tender a contract, and Keppinger should also be retained.

Figueroa, 37 in May, has not yet gone through the arbitration process.  Perhaps his 67 Astros innings this year were strong enough to merit a tender, or maybe the plan is to non-tender and then re-sign him.  At any rate, interest is mutual between Figueroa and GM Ed Wade.  Byrdak is a tough call.  He battled hamstring and back injuries this year and already makes $1.6MM, but did handle lefties well.

Chacin tossed 38.3 innings for the Astros, his first big league work since '07.  He'll probably be non-tendered.  The non-tender decision on Quintero will depend on the Astros' perception of his defense and intangibles, since he's not much with the bat.  He made only $750K this year and would receive a small raise.


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14 Comments on "Arbitration Eligibles: Houston Astros"


oremlk
4 years 10 months ago

As an Astros fan the only guys really on the bubble are likely Chacin and Byrdak. And I won’t guarantee a non-tender for either of them, especially Byrdak. The organization likes all the other players and I think they will be retained at their cost. (Possibly some, like Figueroa, could have their arbitration raise bought out with a smaller contract.)

Backup_Slider
4 years 10 months ago

It would be an enormous mistake for Houston to go to arbitration with Lindstrom taking into consideration his 2009 stats, the second-half of his 2010 stats, his back troubles, his inability to miss bats (his swing-and-miss %’s and hits/inning rates are flat out awful for a pitcher who throws as hard as he does), and that he’d be due to recieve > $2M bucks in arbitration. Lindstrom’s a no-brainer non-tender if the front office has any sense, as they’d be better off having $2M to spend elsewhere.

As a frame of reference, the Nationals were faced with an almost identical situation involving Mike MacDougal last offseason, and they did the wise and smart thing by nontendering the player.

oremlk
4 years 10 months ago

Whether you’re right or wrong (don’t want to get into the discussion), the Astros seem to really like Lindstrom, and I seriously doubt he will be non-tendered.

coldgoldenfalstaff
4 years 10 months ago

Also, Wandy will likely be due a much larger salary – that’s beyond what his performance dictates. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Astros deal him for more prospects.

myname_989
4 years 10 months ago

I’m sure a lot of teams would be interested in Wandy Rodriguez if the Astros find him to be a little too rich for their blood after his thrid arbitration case. I know I’d love to have him as a Phillies fan. Slotting him into the rotation between Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton would effectively give the Phillies the best rotation in the MLB. He really turned it on after the All Star Break. 5 – 1, 2.11 ERA, 28 BB, 101 SO, .204 BAA. I’ll take him. Lol

oremlk
4 years 10 months ago

The thing about Wandy is that his home/road splits are very, very drastic. He performs like a true ace at Minute Maid Park, but on the road, he is just an average pitcher. That might mean he has more value to the Astros than to anyone else. I don’t know.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Drop Quintero, Byrdak, and Chacin. They’re easily replaced, probably by cheaper players with more upside.

Start working on a long term deal for Pence. Don’t pay him as an elite run producer (he’s not, but force to be in the Astros lineup).

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

I would consider trading Wandy since the supply of quality starting pitching is so thin this free agency. I’d need to see a quality player or 2 in return, maybe not at an elite level, but at least someone who can contributes to the long range future of the team. The Stros need power, a 2b, a SS, and pitching and it won’t come from the minors this year. They’ve already promoted the ones ready to contribute.

oremlk
4 years 10 months ago

Don’t like it unless the return is spectacular. Would rather sign Wandy to an extension, if his price is reasonable.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Wandy’s getting old enough that a long term contract may not be prudent. And he’s a touch inconsistent this year. If he’ll sign for 3 years, I might extend him depending on the dollars. I’d like the Astros to remain somewhat competitive and build around pitching, but I think you have to at least look at what he might fetch you.

oremlk
4 years 10 months ago

Wasn’t thinking long-term. Perhaps buying out his 2011 season (arbitration) plus 2-3 more years after that. Similar to the deal Myers received. His overall numbers have been extremely consistent since 2008 (look at his peripherals and rate stats) even if he’s a little streaky on a short term basis.

The_Porcupine
4 years 10 months ago

Again, depends on the dollars. I don’t think he’ll be as valuable by the time the Astros are really contending in 2 years. I’m not necessarily looking to move him. But considering the lack of pitching on the market, some team might give up a decent package of players for him.

AstrosWS20
4 years 10 months ago

I think the most likely thing to happen would be to go to arbitration with Wandy and deal him at the deadline. I’d like to see him get dealt now in order to get maximum return back, but I see Wade hoping that the Stros can compete next year and I think we all know they won’t.

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 10 months ago

One pitcher they really should keep around is Nelson Figueroa. He’s bounced around a lot, and seems like he’s found a home in Houston. I’m guessing he’ll sign for a reasonable amount just to know he has a job. He’s a good fit for a staff with lots of young arms to sort through. You can slot him in the back end of the rotation or put him in the pen.