Astros Sign Scott Feldman

JAN. 10: Feldman's deal is front-loaded, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The right-hander will earn $12MM in 2014, $10MM in 2015 and $8MM in 2016.

DEC. 6: Though several of their starters turned in a strong finish to the 2013 campaign, the Astros' rotation still ranked 28th in ERA and 27th in innings pitched. Looking to add an experienced arm to help solidify an unstable group of starters, Houston announced a three-year deal for right-hander Scott Feldman that is reportedly worth $30MM. It's been a busy few days for Feldman's agent, Matt Brown, as he also represents Curtis Granderson, who just agreed to a four-year, $60MM deal with the Mets.

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Feldman rebounded from a series of injuries with the Rangers to post a solid season between the Cubs and Orioles in 2013. The 30-year-old posted a 3.86 ERA with 6.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and 49.6 percent ground-ball rate in 181 2/3 innings.

Feldman's contract represents both a significant raise for the pitcher — he earned $6MM in 2013 — and a significant change in philosophy for the Astros. Houston trimmed payroll in 2013 to the point where Erik Bedard's $1.15MM salary made him the only Astro with a salary north of $1MM. By signing Feldman and acquiring Dexter Fowler and his $7.35MM salary earlier this week, the Astros are making good on their promise to fans that they will spend money this offseason.

Feldman will join a promising young rotation that includes Jarred Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer and Brad Peacock (who improved significantly in the season's final two months). Houston also has promising prospects on the way in the form of Mike Foltynewicz and 2013 No. 1 overall pick Mark Appel. Beyond those already impressive names, the Astros will once again pick No. 1 overall in 2014, meaning that another highly touted arm could be added to the mix. North Carolina State left-hander Carlos Rodon currently projects as the consensus No.1 overall pick. Feldman was traded midseason and therefore wasn't eligible to receive a qualifying offer, meaning the Astros will not surrender a draft pick to land his services.

Feldman's contract is somewhat comparable to that of other mid-tier starters such as Jason Vargas and Phil Hughes. Though he was unable to secure the fourth year that Vargas commanded, Feldman also netted a higher annual value despite a more inconsistent track record. He and Brown were able to top my prediction of two years and a vesting option.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was the first to report the agreement and terms of the deal (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


7 Responses to Astros Sign Scott Feldman Leave a Reply

  1. OldHaus 2 years ago

    Feldman is the smartest guy in MLB two years running. He gets tons of money for a soft baller arm and will probably get traded to a contender at the deadline again.

    • Maybe the 2016 deadline. What contender trades for a guy with that much left on his contract?

      • Joe Valenti 2 years ago

        If he continues to pitch well $18M over 2 years looks like a bargain given what pitchers are getting this offseason

  2. LooksEasyOnTV 2 years ago

    Pay him more upfront while the team has little committed to payroll and increase financial flexibility down the road when the team looks to become competitive.

    What a surprise, Luhnow makes a well-thought-out move.

    • vtadave 2 years ago

      Exactly my thoughts as well. Also increases his trade value should they pursue that sometime in 2015 or 2016 (assuming he’s pitching decent enough).

  3. Andrew van Laar 2 years ago

    Houston’s rotation looks pretty darn good if those kids keep pitching the way they did last year. Cosart and Oberholtz have great numbers (save for Cosarts K and BB numbers). Looking promising for the Astros :)

    • Brian Stevenson 2 years ago

      Most people don’t realize, but that young rotation was one of the best statistically speaking in baseball during the last couple months of the season. The bullpen and offense were so bad that it kept the team down and out of the spotlight though. Could be a significant improvement coming for the Astros this year.

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