The season, in all its glory, has concluded. The hot stove, on the other hand, is just about to begin. This offseason we have a new perspective, a new challenge, and a new agenda: building a team to win. The postseason is expected, not being wished upon.
So, without further ado, here's a list and a tiny explanation behind some interesting, potential offseason targets:
The potential gem of this offseason. If the Astros can pull off a trade for Ozuna, you should all be very excited. It's no secret that the Astros put great stock in players who statcast style systems adore. And, statcast, alongside Carlos Gomez, identified Ozuna as one of their nine five tool players. The title put him in the same conversation as Mike Trout, Hunter Pence, and Andrew McCutchen.
His wRC+ (of 89) was killed by his hitting against right handed pitchers. However, he posted an insane wRC+ of 145 against left handed pitchers, making him a prime platoon candidate. His defense is strong, his base running great, and he does it all from centre field.
Returning to statcast; by their measurements, he flies around the bases, hits the ball hard, makes lots of contact, has a cannon of an arm, and takes near perfect routes in the outfield. As is, he makes for a prime platoon candidate. If he can start to hit right handed pitching, he becomes a highly valuable asset.
I feel silly typing/proposing this. I mean, Estrada, seriously? But, when the world was watching during the ALCS, Estrada was at his best. And, more importantly, he displayed an absolutely filthy fastball and changeup combination. He's old, and he posted a 4.40 FIP last season. But, that changeup.
A pitcher who was crowned the 'AL Contact Manager of the Year' by Fangraphs, ahead of our own Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh, has to interest the Astros. He can keep hitters off balance, post insanely low BABIPs, and surely has the potential to strike out a decent number of batters. In honesty, I'm not really sure what capacity he can help the Astros in. A fifth starter/swingman, perhaps.
But, that changeup.
Steve Pearce seems to fit the Astros mould.
In what was a huge down year for the first baseman/outfielder, he still managed to post an ISO north of .200. He struggled in almost every aspect this season, yet he still slugged. An ideal buy-low candidate, only one year removed from a five-win season. Maybe, however, adding another Gattis-esque hitter to the fold isn't what the Astros need.
Yet, there is still something intriguing about Pearce. The Astros, all season long, stuck with Evan Gattis. He seemed to be struggling massively in almost every aspect of his game, except for slugging. It begged the question, once more, do the Astros know something else we don't? Is slugging the way forward?
The former, almost certainly. The latter, perhaps. Steve Pearce? Worth a shot.