The Astros and reliever Chris Devenski have settled on a $1.525MM salary for the 2019 season, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Per Rosenthal, the deal also includes a club option for $2.625MM in 2020, which can increase to $2.725MM if the righty appears in 50 or more games in 2019. The salary will increase to $2.825MM if he appears in 60 games, and $2.925MM if Devenski, represented by MVP Sports Group, makes 68 appearances.
Devenski had originally asked for $1.65MM in his first arbitration-eligible season, with the club filing at $1.4MM.
The 28-year-old Devenski broke out in 2016, posting an absurdly high (for a reliever) 2.8 fWAR in just 48 appearances. His once-dominant changeup, though, has become far more hittable of late – AL hitters teed off on the righty last season, smashing nine homers in just 47.1 IP and making hard contact nearly 34% of the time. Devenski did continue to strike batters out, whiffing 9.7 men per nine after a career high of 11.6 K/9 in 2017.
He’ll likely fill a long role in a deep Astro bullpen that includes stalwarts Roberto Osuna, Ryan Pressly, Hector Rondon, and Will Harris, with the Houston analytic team surely on the prowl for ways in which the unorthodox righty can keep more balls on the ground.