According to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, the Astros have reached an agreement with free agent starting pitcher Scott Feldman for three years and $30 million.
Source: Feldman agrees with #Astros, three years, $30 million, pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
Feldman pitched for the Texas Rangers his entire career until last season, when he signed a 1-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, who subsequently traded him to the Baltimore Orioles for starting pitcher Jake Arrieta and reliever Pedro Strop. In 2013, Feldmen totalled 12-12 in 181-2/3 innings, resulting in a 3.86 ERA. The Rangers converted him to a starter in 2008, with mixed results, but after returning from microfracture surgery on his right knee and struggling through bad luck (high BABIP) in 2012, he rebounded in 2013.
The move represents the first significant Free Agent signing for the "new" Astros, and will make Feldman the highest paid player since they gave Wandy Rodriguez a 4-year contract for $47 million in 2011.
Feldman has posted an average of a 2.2 WAR over the past two seasons, and his xFIP has stayed consistently between 3.72 and 3.96 for three. Presumably, moving into a more neutral-playing ballpark will help Feldman, as his Home/Road splits included a 4.30 career ERA in Arlington compared to 3.41 on the road.
The 30-year-old right-hander is a good control pitcher - His K/BB rate has stayed between 2.2 and 3 for the past three seasons, an improved rate over his earlier years. The 90 mph fastball won't strike fear into anybody, but his cutter and curveball both grade as above-average pitches.
On the 2013 Astros, Feldman would have been the most productive pitcher.
Depend on the writers of The Crawfish Boxes following up with reaction and further analysis over the coming days.