2021 Houston Astros: Three Free Agents Who Could Still Help

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As we get closer to Spring Training, the 2021 Houston Astros roster has begun to take shape. The Astros have gone out made moves via free agency and trades that have addressed key areas, but is that enough to get through the grind of a 162-game season? Do the Astros have enough depth to contend the AL West and make a deep push into October? Only time will tell.

Much of the lineup for the 2021 Houston Astros will carry over from 2020. The obvious loss going into 2021 will be that George Springer is no longer an Astro, patrolling centerfield. The pitching rotation will be very similar, and so will the bullpen with the addition of a couple of new arms. If General Manager James Click wants to add some security to the rotation and bullpen, here are few names that might be able to do just that.

2021 Houston Astros Targets

Jake Arrieta

Jake Arrieta is a veteran pitcher that the Astros might want to consider going into the 2021 season. A former Cy Young winner in 2015, Arrieta had much success during his time with the Chicago Cubs but often struggled at times during his three seasons with the Phillidehia Phillies. At age 34, Arrieta still might have enough in the tank to help the Astros and their young pitchers.

With the young arms currently in the rotation, adding Arrieta into the mix will add depth to the rotation and cut down on the workload these young arms will endure this season. Not to mention, teaming Arrieta up with Astros pitching coach Brent Strom might make for something special. Astros fans have seen Strom work his magic especially with bringing Justin Verlander back to top form, considering many critics wrote Verlander off a few years ago. Adding Arrieta to the mix would be cost-effective that the Astros could benefit from.

Collin McHugh

Collin McHugh returning to the Astros makes perfect sense in 2021. After signing a one-year deal with the Boston Red Sox in 2019, McHugh did not pitch in 2020 after opting out due to the pandemic. During his six seasons with the Astros, McHugh compiled a 58-35 record with a 3.63 ERA and 763 strikeouts. What makes this such an intriguing addition is that McHugh can step in as both a starter and a reliever. Two areas that the Astros will need to watch going into the season.

Brad Peacock

Brad Peacock re-signing with the 2021 Houston Astros is an option General Manager James Click can turn to if the opportunity arises. After missing the 2020 season due to injuries, Peacock is another pitcher who can be a starter when needed or can work out of the bullpen. With all the available relievers off the market, Peacock would be a cost-effective addition to the bullpen.

One of the things that makes Peacock a good fit is the fact that he has the potential to be a closer. Many Astros fans will probably shake their head and disagree, but this would give Click a low-cost option with minimal risk considering the Astros are trying to stay under the luxury tax.

2021 Houston Astros: Final Thoughts

The 2021 Houston Astros will be the favorite to win the AL West Division in 2021. Pitching depth will be something the Astros will need to keep an eye on throughout the season as their young pitchers look to get more work this season.

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Jeff "Rip" Griffin is a current MLB writer covering the Houston Astros. Rip is also the host of The Rip Griffin Show on Apple Podcasts. Rip holds a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, focusing in Sports Management from the University of Houston - Victoria.