The Houston Astros have brought in a former Dodgers’ reliever, with Pedro Baez signing a two-year, $9M contract with a 2023 club option and $12.5 million guaranteed. Baez is coming off of a World Series championship with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In his seven seasons with the Dodgers, Baez had a 3.03 ERA, 3.61 FIP, and 3.7 WAR in 356 innings. He has been an integral piece behind Kenley Jansen in the Dodgers’ bullpen for his whole career, and he has been very reliable. The Astros know what they’re getting, but they also have a knack for developing pitchers, and they may see something in Baez that other teams don’t.
Pedro Baez Signing – Houston Astros
Of course, the effects of the Pedro Baez signing on the Astros bullpen are obvious. Though Roberto Osuna was waived by the Astros, they still have a top-10 reliever in Ryan Pressly. Early on last season, the Houston Astros’ pitching staff was a massive worry. After Justin Verlander and Roberto Osuna went down with injuries, the Astros and their fans were worried about their staff, especially the pen. Big contributions from Andre Scrubb, Enoli Paredes, and Blake Taylor helped the Astros maintain a fairly average bullpen (15th in ERA).
With the Pedro Baez signing, the Astros are bringing in an established arm, though his advanced numbers have looked a little worse recently. His 6.88 K/9 in 2020 is concerning, as is his 4.43 FIP. He has always been the type of pitcher to have an ERA lower than his FIP, but career 4.45 WPA (Win Probability Added) isn’t that impressive. Also, his 4.08 SIERA since 2017 is worrying, and both depth charts and steamer project him to have a 5.15 ERA in 2021.
As we know, the Astros have been one of the best pitching systems in the league. Despite missing their best arm, they still had the 13th best ERA in 2020, following a 2019 season that they were second and a 2018 season where they were best by a significant margin. In these two seasons, their rotation was headlined by Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, but they have also developed pitchers like Lance McCullers Jr. Their history of great pitching development is why the Pedro Baez signing should work out for the Astros, and Baez.
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