Goodrum, 30, had a couple of solid seasons with the Tigers in 2018 and 2019, hitting 28 home runs and stealing 24 bags over that two-year stretch. His overall batting line of .247/.318/.427 was just barely below league average, as evidenced by his 98 wRC+. He played all over the diamond in that time, lining up at every position outside of the battery. He generally got quality marks for his glovework, helping him produce 4.5 wins above replacement total over those two campaigns, in the estimation of FanGraphs.
However, he’s been in a downward spiral since then, which started with a rough campaign in the shortened 2020 season. He hit .184/.263/.335 that year while striking out 38.5% of the time. In 2021, he bounced back a bit but still disappointed. His .214/.292/.359 batting line led to a wRC+ of 81, much better than the 63 from the year before but a drop off from prior seasons. His strikeout rate improved to 32.9% but was still well above the 23.2% league average.
After two straight down years, the Tigers cut bait and non-tendered him. The Astros decided to take a flier on Goodrum by signing him to a $2.1MM contract for 2022. He got into just 15 games with Houston, hitting a dismal .116/.156/.163 and striking out in 51.1% of his plate appearances. He was optioned to the minors and has been dealing with injuries ever since, only getting into 20 minor league games on the year. With active rosters expanding for September, the Astros decided to call up prospects Hunter Brown and Yainer Diaz, bumping Goodrum from the roster in the process.
Goodrum has more than three years of MLB service time, meaning that he would have been able to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency. However, only players with more than five years’ service time can do so while retaining the salary they are owed. That could have led to him accepting an assignment to stick with the Space Cowboys, though it now seems to be a moot point. With the club releasing him, they will be on the hook for the approximately $400K left on the deal, while Goodrum will return to the open market and look for his next opportunity.