The Astros had a scare nearly two weeks ago when Framber Valdez was lost to a fractured finger on his pitching hand for an undetermined amount of time. Although the rotation still featured the likes of Zack Greinke and Lance McCullers Jr., the depth that was already thin, at best, was now facing additional uncertainty. Everyone realized that Jim Crane would have to dig deeper into his wallet to help alleviate the strain. In turn, the Astros signed Jake Odorizzi to a two-year contract with a player option for 2023.
But fans are still in the mindset that the Astros may need another player to help address the deficiencies on this roster. In fact, about 66 percent of those who voted believe that would be the best course of action.
The two areas that may require further attention remain the starting rotation and possibly center field. While Myles Straw has performed well thus far in Spring Training (1.000 OPS in 19 PA), the regular season is a different beast entirely. But even with the addition of Odorizzi, the starting rotation, or pitching staff in general, may need a bit more care as we progress through the 2021 season. The fans overwhelmingly agree that the pitching staff is the area to address the most.
Of course, the Astros are now limited by payroll constraints as the club appears intent to not exceed the $210 million tax threshold for a second consecutive season. With McCullers Jr., Carlos Correa, and Justin Verlander all set to become free agents and be eligible to have a qualifying offer next offseason, Houston is in line to receive multiple draft picks as compensation. But if they exceed the threshold in 2021, those draft picks wouldn’t be quite as high as they would normally be. Hence the reluctance by the front office to exceed that ever-important $210 million figure.
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