The Astros missed out on the top closer on the market, so they initiated a backup plan.
Houston desperately needed bullpen help entering this offseason, and they haven’t necessarily answered that challenge so far this Winter. Like most teams, the Astros have been clutching their wallets, afraid to spend the necessary capital to upgrade the roster. This includes the likes of George Springer and Michael Brantley, who appear to be heading elsewhere in free agency.
The Astros were reportedly in on Hendriks, formerly of the Oakland Athletics an one of the top closers in the game, but weren’t willing to meet his asking price. The Chicago White Sox were, and suddenly Houston was forced into action. Finally, the Astros have made a bullpen addition, and he’s a former rival.
Pedro Báez and the Astros have agreed on a two-year contract, per source. The deal is pending a physical. Báez, a converted third baseman, had a 3.03 ERA in seven seasons with the Dodgers.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) January 13, 2021
Baez is a good consolation prize for Houston
Baez, formerly a third baseman in the Dodgers system before becoming one of the top setup arms in the game, has a career 3.03 ERA in seven seasons in the majors. Most notable when looking at his statistics, however, is his consistency. Baez has never registered an ERA over four, and could become the Astros closer should they wish to employ him in that regard.
The rest of the Stros bullpen has yet to take shape. Ryan Pressly was solid in the closer role last season, registering 12 saves in the shortened MLB campaign plus a 3.43 ERA. Any late-game combination of Pressly an Baez would put Houston in good shape moving forward, especially when one considers they have issues in the starting rotation as well without Justin Verlander.
Baez to Houston makes a ton of sense, and also hurts the Dodgers a bit. Some would call that the perfect combination for the Astros.