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2015 Winter Meetings: Tony Sipp Returns to Astros

Astros sign their free agent lefthand reliever, Tony Sipp, pending physical.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.