According to numerous reports, the Astros are showing interest in free agent Alex Colomé, the righty closer that had a brilliant 2020 with the White Sox. But the Astros have also been linked (at least in terms of their wish list) to colleague Liam Hendriks, who starred since 2019 with the A’s.
And I know that everyone who considers himself an Astros fan is rooting for the front office to get Hendriks. He’s the guy in style and didn’t keep a low profile while closing games in Oakland, where he maintained great success in the past two years.
If Houston plans to go after one of them, I believe Colomé should be the guy to join its bullpen (and not Hendriks), considering multiple factors that will come to you in a nutshell.
First, Colomé might be incredibly more affordable than Hendriks. In fact, and for you to get a different standpoint, MLB Trade Rumors predicts the former signing a one-year, $6M deal, while the latter would sign for $30 million and three seasons.
So Colomé, especially if he’s willing to reach an agreement for one season, could fit better into Astros’ plans, considering they have many other needs to address.
Second, don’t forget the Dominican righty is GOOD. He might have a low profile, but he's coming off a 2020 season in which he shone for Chicago. Not only he saved 12 games but also he registered a 0.81 ERA (2.97 FIP), ZERO home runs in 22 1⁄3 innings, a 0.94 WHIP, and a 5.2 H/9 rate.
It’s true he doesn’t strike out people as much as Hendriks does, but he’ll get you plenty of outs: Across 46 save opportunities since 2019, he only blew four of them. Besides, if you take a look at his Statcast profile, you’ll fall in love with him (in case you wonder about his fastball velocity, it was a respectable 94.4 MPH last year):
Third, Colomé has had a longer track of dominance than Hendriks, who went unclaimed on waivers by 29 teams not so long ago. In 245 games between 2011 and 2018, Hendriks had a 4.72 ERA, ONE save, and a 12-22 record.
Regarding Colomé, the 32-year-old has been a closer since 2016 and owns 138 saves under his belt. His career numbers also include a 2.95 ERA, a 0.8 HR/9 rate, and 8.2 strikeouts per nine, besides a 1.18 WHIP and a 3.54 FIP.
Fourth and last, not only has Colomé been better against the Astros’ division rivals. He’s been better than Hendriks at Minute Maid Park:
Name ERA SV IP WHIP K/9
Colomé 1.80 3 10 0.60 4.5
Hendriks 7.07 2 14 1.64 9.6
I think the Astros should prioritize seeking outfield help, that should be a must! But once they’re done doing so, they could take a look at Colomé if they want some insurance for the closer’s role.