Nov. 2: Raley’s club option called for a split contract in 2021, reports Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). He’ll earn at a $2MM rate on the big league roster, but the contract calls for him to earn at a $250K rate in the minors. If Raley pitches like he did for Houston in 2020, he should make the roster and earn the entirety of that salary, but it’s a notable distinction that it’s not a straight, fully guaranteed $2MM salary.
Nov. 1: The Astros are picking up Brooks Raley’s $2MM club option for 2021, GM James Click informed reporters (including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com). The 32-year-old only has one-plus year of MLB service. Nevertheless, under the terms of the contract he signed last offseason, he’ll be eligible for free agency at the end of next season.
Raley parlayed a solid five-year run with the KBO’s Lotte Giants into a deal with the Reds. While he was let go by Cincinnati after just four appearances, he found a home in Houston. The Astros acquired Raley from the Reds for a player to be named later in August.
The southpaw went on toss 16 relief innings in the regular season. His 3.94 ERA doesn’t jump off the page, but Raley racked up 21 strikeouts against four walks in Houston, holding opposing hitters to a paltry .143/.213/.339 line. He worked another 5.2 innings across eight appearances during Houston’s playoff run, allowing two earned runs with a 9:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Wow his opposing hitters slash line is really quite impressing. .143/.213 would be right up there with the absolute best relievers in the game were he able to replicate it over the course of a full season. Will be interesting to see how he fares next year but if he can keep up numbers like that the Astros may well have found a gem and for just $2M that would be a steal should he be able to replicate his success in 16 IP this past year over a full season.
Welcome home to Houston Brooks Raley!
Nice decision to keep him around. I just wish we would have claimed Brad Hand for the paltry $10M.
I agree. That would have been an amazing addition.
Who claimed Hand?
Peart of the game
They also figure he can be long relief/starting pitcher depth.
There must be a very deep dive into the #’s that justify this move, because on the surface, $2 mil seems brutal
$2 mil seems brutal? I guess I’m not following, because I doubt $2 mil is brutal to any team, and if he doesn’t pitch well they can send him down to save a portion of the $2 mil.
To be fair, the update happened after my original comment. Seeing that he has a “cheaper” league option, the risk doesn’t seem bad. But I stand by my in a COVID filled lack of revenue season, that $2 mill for his performance would be brutal.
If $2 mil is indeed “brutal” to the Astros as you say, then they would never have picked up the option to begin with. It might be disappointing if he doesn’t live up to the cost of the option, but it’ll never be brutal.