TUESDAY: The Astros have confirmed the signing via press release.
MONDAY: The Astros have agreed to terms with right-hander Matt Albers on a one-year, $2.45MM contract with a club option for 2015, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Albers, who is represented by SSG Baseball, will earn $2.25MM in 2014 and has a $200K buyout on a $3MM option for 2015.
Reports earlier this month indicated that Albers, a Houston native, had already received at least one two-year offer from an interested team. Perhaps the allure of once again playing in his hometown caused the soon-to-be 31-year-old to leave some guaranteed cash on the table.
Albers posted a 3.14 ERA with 5.0 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and 63.8 percent ground-ball rate in 63 innings for the Indians. Over the past two seasons, he has parlayed his ground-balling ways into a 2.77 ERA in 123 1/3 innings. Albers is the second free agent reliever signed by the Astros this offseason, as GM Jeff Luhnow also brought right-hander Chad Qualls back to Houston on a two-year, $6MM contract.
The Astros have also been linked to Jose Veras, who has stated a strong desire to return. Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that a Veras reunion is indeed still a possibility despite the addition of Albers (Twitter link).
Back where it all started. Good for him.
I thought the Indians or the Tigers would sign him.
Not a bad pickup at all, especially for that price and the extra possible year of control.
Astros go out and get another former Astro. I’m really liking what Luhnow is doing this offseason. Bolstering that bullpen is going to be great. We still got a long way to go though.
These moves are smart? I disagree, I think Astros FA frenzy cost them last place and another top pick. Won’t be worse than the Marlins or the Cubs this year, I can tell you that.
If you understood the concept of win curves, you’d realize why that statement is silly. Teams always improve gradually, and cost effective FA deals are among the most effective ways to do so. Also, the Houston farm is just about at saturation. Hording more prospects at this point doesn’t offer much marginal value. What the team needs to do is to give the first wave of talent an environment they can succeed in.
Many teams have gone through this process before and none of them went from bottom feeder to contender in the span of a single year. Houston is sitting at the bottom of an inverse parabola. The return to the top has to start somewhere.
This includes filling some roles with FAs who can be counted on for the most part. They can pick up the kids if their introduction to the majors is rocky.
I’m just saying for a team that is nowhere close to good, signing and trading for all these players isn’t getting you any closer to the top. High draft picks will. This team AT LEAST got better than the Cubs and the Marlins IMO.
I mean maybe they can move these guys like Fowler later for good prospects (like the Cubs always seem to do) However, I doubt anybody takes Feldman’s contract so he seems like a likely out.
Winning takes winning. You can’t just flounder at 100 losses and the magically make the playoffs. Fielding a better team increase attendance and revenue, which allows a team to spend more. I like where this team can be with Jose Altuve, Dexter Fowler, Jason Castro, Jonathan Singleton, Scott Feldman, Mark Appel, Matt Dominguez, Carlos Correa, etc. Those are nice pieces to build around, and they already have a talented group of young starting pitchers. How fast their pitching develops will determine how quickly the Astros return to being contenders.
Okay another bullpen arm, but do they plan on picking up a closer or another bat?
I’ll admit that I didn’t expect Choo or a big signing, but I expect SOMETHING this offseason. Bringing back Qualls and Albers who were just decent for us when we were contenders doesn’t scream progress. Make some kind of 2-3 year signing for a halfway decent player that will inject some excitement into the franchise. I’d like to think I’m a loyal and patient fan. I’ve lived and died with them since I put on an orange Astros hat as a little kid in the 80s and backed up their plan to build through the draft, but this nonsense is starting to tick me off.
Theres still plenty of time for them to sign or acquire a bat
what on earth would you recommend? How about we start with recovering the two dozen plus blown games in the later innings? Respectability starts with being able to play 9 innings whether you have superstars or not.
I don’t see how these moves get defined as nonesense
How about Mitch Moreland from the Rangers?
I don’t see how you can say that a potential Jim Johnson in Matt Albers nor how you can define a legitimate set-up man in Chad Qualls is “nonsense.” The Astros really needed to pump so bullpen arms into the 2014 team. The lineup will be fine with the additions of Springer and Singleton. The rotation is improved vastly with Feldman being #1 but he will likely become a bullpen arm down the line if not a trade piece. That depends on how quickly top pitching prospects move up the ladder and how they acclimate themselves to pitching in the major leagues.
These deals are not very flashy, but the Astros aren’t in a position to try and acquire big name talent.
Liking the signing for the Astros so far .
First Qualls, and now Albers. Good that the Astros are bringing back some former guys. Both solid pickups.
Its odd. Its almost as if the Astros are trying to succeed. Been along time since they have tried this strategy…hope it pays off.
Well… there goes the indian’s bullpen
Astros have done everything right this offseason by affordably bringing in veteran free agents on short term contracts. Now they just need a closer and a stop gap 1B until Singleton is ready in 2015. I think they will get Veras or someone similar in the next week. Luhnow is being smart and letting the prices come down. 1B may be a problem unless we can find someone willing to take Harell in a trade. We were runner up on 3 free agent 1B so far this offseason.
Not a fan of using stop gaps at first when a prospect at first is ready you can simply move him to DH. God knows it’s better then Wallace and Carter swing blindly.
Well with one more bullpen arm the Astros are Garunteed to win at least 75 games next year. Especially how the rotation performed since Cosart’s call up to his shut down when the team checked out mentally to a 15 game losing streak.
James L. Carlson II
Jose Veras just signed with the Cubs.