Tale of the Tape Breakdown: Playoff Contenders, Mariners vs Astros
Mariners vs Astros: Astros Offseason Summary
Any time a team wins the World Series, you’re going to see a fair amount of turnover. The price for being great, and the Astros have clearly shown an ability to overcome this. This offseason, the Astros lost their Cy Young winning legend Justin Verlander to the New York Mets on a massive 2-year/$87 million dollar deal to reunite with his other Cy Young buddy Max Scherzer. Verlander likely leaves Houston as the most successful pitcher in team history, which is really saying something when guys like Andy Pettite, Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens, and Nolan Ryan wore the Houston colors.
Along with losing their ace, the Astros also lost multiple other players, including1B Yuli Gurriel, C Christian Vazquez, 1B/OF Trey Mancini, SS Aledmys Diaz, LHP Will Smith, RHP Josh James, C Jason Castro. Houston didn’t go heavy in the free agent market to replace these lost players, but they did make a couple of moves that I believe are underrated.
They signed former AL MVP Jose Abreu away from Chicago on a 3-year, $58.5 million dollar contract. The Astros historically haven’t been extremely active in free agency, but Abreu as the 6th best hitter on this team is scary. He may not have the power that he used to possess, but the 36-year-old posted a 133 OPS+, which is right at his career 134 average.
After bringing in Abreu, Houston focused on resigning both Rafael Montero and Michael Brantley. Montero, after being an absolute dud and playing a big role in the 2021 Mariners missing the playoffs, became an absolute bullpen star in 2022…go figure. Montero posted a 1.3 WAR, going 5-2 with a 2.37 ERA and a 163 ERA+, quite the jump from his 57 ERA+ during his time in Seattle.
With Brantley, a guy I really wanted to see in a Mariners jersey, Houston provides a comfortable home for Brantley to get 100% healthy after missing most of 2022. He will likely be out for an extended period of time while he rehabs from his shoulder surgery.