Landing a spot in the Houston Astros bullpen was Ryne Stanek, though this isn’t the big move we were hoping for on the pitching front.
We all received the big baseball deal we were waiting for. Well, the baseball world did I guess. Houston Astros fans received a lesser deal, and one which doesn’t seem to move the needle at all in the big scheme of things. While the rest of the industry was fawning over the Francisco Lindor trade to the New York Mets, the Astros were busy signing reliever Ryne Stanek.
Numbers on the deal are to the liking of the front office. A one year pact with a base salary of $1.1M. With all the needs the Astros have, this is a necessary move, yet one which will not push the team over the top when it comes down to the wire.
As the offseason inches on, the Astros still have to replace their starting outfield (with only one in house replacement in Kyle Tucker), find a backup catcher, and address several holes in the bullpen, including finding a closer.
Stanek, a former first round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013 had a formidable career going while he pitched in Tampa. More recently, in two years with the Miami Marlins he was atrocious. In 31 innings with the Marlins, he walked 27 and gave up seven home runs. In 31 games in South Beach he had an ERA of 6.03.
With Chris Devinski and Brad Peacock hitting free agency, the Astros needed to bring in a veteran reliever to put in the bullpen. They found one, and at a very cost effective price. Stanek is a middle reliever who won’t get the Astros closer to their ultimate goal. Thankfully there are still several quality arms on the market the Astros can target who will make a difference when thrown into high leverage situations.
New general manager James Click was in Tampa when Stanek was drafted by the Rays, and Ryne won’t be a free agent until 2024, were the Houston Astros to tender him contracts through arbitration. Maybe the boss knows something we do not and the spin rate masters in Houston can work their magic on Stanek.
For this to be considered a successful signing, they will need to.