The Houston Astros lucked out by signing Jake Odorizzi, but he’s not thrilled he had to wait around in free agency.
Odorizzi was close to signing with the New York Mets earlier in the offseason, and President Sandy Alderson was interested in signing the right-hander. Yet, a change at general manager — with Jared Porter leaving the team in disgrace over sexual harassment claims — eventually impacted Odorizzi as well, with new GM Zack Scott having a different free agency vision.
On The Chris Rose Rotation podcast, Odorizzi discussed the Mets’ miss and more, including his overall frustration with the free agency process. In total, MLB player earnings are down 4.8 percent over the last two seasons, and Odorizzi was personally impacted by that.
“My time in free agency was my single most frustrating time in baseball… Early on I thought I was going to be a member of a certain team and then some people took over that team and pretty much hated me… It was Trevor’s team…It’s free agency, it’s the game,” Odorizzi said.
Jake Odorizzi’s loss was the Houston Astros’ gain
The Astros signed Odorizzi to a two-year, $20.25 million contract. Frankly, he was lucky to get more than a one-year prove-it deal out of Houston given how late it was in the signing process, but the Astros were also desperate for starting pitching.
The Astros lost Forrest Whitley and Framber Valdez before Opening Day, meaning they had little choice but to pay Odorizzi since Justin Verlander won’t be back until August at the earliest.
Both sides of this coin needed each other, with Odorizzi suffering most over the long-term, as he’s more talented than his contract might suggest. Yet, such is the life of a mid-tier starting pitcher during a pandemic. It’s frustrating, to say the least.