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.