The other day Chipalatta took a look at what the roster transition from 2018 to 2019 might look like.
Today we go farther out on the limb, looking at what might happen between 2019 and 2020.
The following players could become free agents after the 2019 season:
The following players will face arbitration if they cannot come to some other agreement with the team after the 2019 season:
- Carlos Correa
- Max Stassi
- Alex Bregman
- George Springer
- Brad Peacock
- Lance McCullers
- Chris Devenski
- Ken Giles
Here is a shot at how the roster might look in 2020 and then a discussion…..
|POSITION||2019||2019 Salary||2020||2020 Salary|
|1B||YULI GURRIEL||$10.4MM||YORDAN ALVAREZ||$600 K|
|2B||ALTUVE||$9.5 MM||ALTUVE||$29 MM|
|SS||CORREA (ARB)||$8 MM||CORREA(ARB)||$13 MM|
|3B||BREGMAN||$1 MM||BREGMAN (ARB)||$6 MM|
|C||MAX STASSI||$800 K||STASSI (ARB)||$2.5 MM|
|DH||EVAN GATTIS||$9 MM||GURRIEL||$8.4 MM|
|OF||KYLE TUCKER||$560 K||TUCKER||$600 K|
|OF||GEORGE SPRINGER||$12 MM||SPRINGER (ARB)||$16 MM|
|OF||JOSH REDDICK||$13 MM||REDDICK MYLES STRAW||$13 MM $600 K|
|SWISS ARMY KNIFE||MARWIN GONZALEZ||$8 MM||GONZALEZ||$8 MM|
|BENCH||TONY KEMP||$560 K||TONY KEMP||$600 K|
|BACKUP CATCHER||GARRETT STUBBS||$560 K||STUBBS||$600 K|
|SP||VERLANDER||$20 MM||PEACOCK (ARB)||$7 MM|
|SP||GERRIT COLE (ARB)||$12 MM||COLE (FA)||$20 MM|
|SP||LANCE MCCULLERS (ARB)||$6 MM||MCCULLERS (ARB)||$9 MM|
|SP||CHARLIE MORTON (FA)||$16 MM||MORTON (FA)||$16 MM|
|SP||COLLIN MCHUGH (ARB)||
|RP||HECTOR RONDON||$4.5 MM||HECTOR RONDON (FA)||$8 MM|
|RP||CHRIS DEVENSKI (ARB)||
|RP||KEN GILES (ARB)||$6.5 MM||GILES (ARB) DEAN DEETZ||$600 K|
|RP||JOE SMITH||$8 MM||
|RP||WILL HARRIS||$5.5 MM||FA PICKUP||
|RP||BRAD PEACOCK (ARB)||
|RP||2018 TRADE DEADLINE PICKUP||
|2018 TRADE DEADLINE PICKUP||
|PART OF REDDICK, ETC||
|TOTAL||2019 Total||$176 MM||2020 Total||$173.3 MM|
The guess at the 2019 opening day roster was an educated shot. The 2020 roster is more a wing and a prayer. But the bottom line is that there could be a lot of movement involved just if the folks who are turning into free agents go elsewhere.
- Justin Verlander. I love the guy. You love the guy. We all love the guy. But he will be 37 years old heading into 2020 and something tells me he is not going to take a discount to stick around and they need to use his salary elsewhere. This could be a terrible mistake if he is the next Nolan Ryan and is just getting going at 37. But looking ahead the bet is they will bet that he isn’t.
- Collin McHugh. He will be 33 during the 2020 season. But he looks like one of those guys who will sign a four- or five-year contract at that time that will be an anchor after a couple years into it.
- Will Harris. Will is not a sure thing to be back in 2019 and so 2020 looks even less likely. He will turn 36 during the 2020 season and likely will turn it elsewhere.
- Evan Gattis. OK in the 2019 post we had the Astros signing Gattis to a 3 year / $27 MM contract. But if 1B Yordan Alvarez is ready for the biggies in 2020, then this comes down to whether you want the more powerful, but more sporadic Gattis manning the DH spot or the clutch line drive machine named Yuli Gurriel manning this spot. The guess is that they will try to trade Evan for prospects.
- Josh Reddick. This is a total guess, but it could well be that the Astros might look to see if they could get someone to swallow part of Josh’s last year at $13 million and put a youngster like Myles Straw in that spot. Maybe go halfsies on the salary and roll forward with a little more flexibility.
- Ken Giles. Another shot in the dark here, but if Giles is not good enough to hang onto a late-inning spot, might they just let him go rather than be at the $8 MM level after a second arbitration round?
- Joe Smith. There is a good chance that he will never earn close to the $15 MM he is getting for 2018 and 2019, so he is not a likely candidate for a return engagement.
Looking to Keep
- Gerrit Cole. He will be 29 years old heading into 2020 and if he continues to be a fine pitcher for the Astros they may want to wave a 5 year / $100 million contract at him. Of course, it might cost them much more than that and then they may have to choose a different path. They may try to extend him between now and that day…
- Hector Rondon. The guy has shown filthy stuff, especially lately in a closer’s role. He will be 32 y.o. when the 2020 season comes around. Would he take 2 years / $16 million?
- The biggest changes between now and 2020 will be in the bullpen. Collin McHugh will likely move to the rotation in 2019 and elsewhere in 2020. Brad Peacock will likely move to the rotation in 2020. Joe Smith will likely move on and it says here they may part ways with Ken Giles. Two of those spots may be veterans brought in to help, but there is no doubt the Astros are going to have to fill in with a Dean Deetz, Josh James, Francis Martes, and/or Rogelio Armenteros.
- If they can re-sign Cole or McHugh then they only need to add a 5th starter (Forrest Whitley?) to the rotation, along with moving Peacock there. If they can’t sign Cole or McHugh they may be out digging for the next Charlie Morton.
- The bottom line here is that with Verlander, McHugh, Gattis, Giles and part of Reddick coming off the payroll under this scenario they would have a slightly lower payroll even with all the arbitration folks getting raises and Jose Altuve‘s big contract kicking in. Of course, this does not take into account if the team tries to do some early signing on a Correa, Bregman or McCullers.
So, folks, what do you think this team will look like heading into 2020?