MLB Breaking News: The last big free agent pitcher is finally off the board. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, The Houston Astros and right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi have reached a deal that will bring Odorizzi to Houston. Per Passan, the terms of the deal are two-years with a player option for 2023 pending a physical.
MLB Breaking News: Odorizzi Adds Depth
Throughout the offseason, the Astros have been rumored to be one of the teams in the market for the services of Odorizzi. Even though the Astros went into Spring Training with such a young rotation, General Manager James Click seemed confident with this rotation given how well they all performed in 2020. That was until the injury bug hit the rotation.
News broke out earlier this week that left-handed pitcher Framber Valdez would miss some time with a fractured ring finger on his throwing hand. In a Spring Training game against the Mets, Valdez took a comebacker off of Francisco Lindor’s bat in the first inning. Valdez would go on to pitching two innings before manager Dusty Baker made a change.
There has been some debate as to how long Valdez would be out. The young pitcher, who was slated to be the number three starter in the rotation, was rumored to be out of the rotation anywhere from three-to-six weeks. Now, the word “surgery” is something that may be the only option. If that is the case, Valdez would be out the entire 2021 season. This latest injury is a huge blow, especially with veteran Justin Velander out this season as he continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery.
With Valdez out, the Astros were hoping that Forrest Whitley might finally get an opportunity to get into the rotation. In the last couple of days, he has recently developed arm soreness, which means he might be out for some time. With this latest news, the Astros went out and made a move to sign Odorizzi.
With the addition of Odorizzi, the Astros will be getting a top-of-rotation style pitcher that will eat up some innings. Last season, Odorizzi did not have the best season as a starter, going 0-1, with a 6.59 ERA in four starts. Since coming into the league in 2012 with the Kansas City Royals, Odorizzi has had four seasons with double-digit wins, most notably in 2019, where Odorizzi went 15-7, with a 3.51 ERA in 159.0 innings pitched with the Minnesota Twins. He was also an all-star that season.
With the Astros signing Odorizzi, this rotation got another veteran pitcher to balance the young arms in the rotation. This rotation is going to be exciting to watch in 2021.
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