Astros lefthanded reliever Tony Sipp became a free agent, leaving a gaping hole in the Astros bullpen. That need apparently has been addressed with the news that Sipp will re-sign with the Astros. This development is pending the results of a physical. Fox's Rosenthal reports a contract amount of 3 years, $18 million.
Free agent reliever Tony Sipp is returning to the #Astros.His deal will be done pending completion of his physical according to MLB sources— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) December 10, 2015
Sipp was picked up as a minor league free agent by the Astros two years ago, and he blossomed as a key figure in the Astros bullpen. In 2014, Sipp put up the following results (ERA/FIP/x-FIP): 3.38, 2.93, 2.94. In 2015, Sipp again posted even better results: 1.98, 2.93, 3.34. Sipp is a valuable lefthanded reliever, because he has the ability to face righthanded, as well as lefthanded, batters.
Given the rising market for relief pitchers, the ability of the Astros to re-sign Sipp was in question. Sipp may be the best lefthanded reliever in free agency this year, and he was considering offers from a number of teams. A number of fans will breathe easier now. The Astros know what they have in Sipp. He isn't an elite relief pitcher, but he is a reliable lefthander.