The Astros have until midnight on Friday to decide whether to tender contracts for their arbitration-eligible players. If players are not tendered a contract they become free agents. If they are tendered a contract, they are considered signed and enter the arbitration process where both parties submit numbers. They can settle before going to arbitration or leave it up to a hearing and an arbitrator.
Here are the 11 Astros eligible for arbitration and guesstimated salaries for 2019 from mlbtraderumors.com …..
Gerrit Cole (5.111) – $13.1MM
Roberto Osuna (3.097) – $6.5MM
Collin McHugh (5.085) – $5.4MM
Carlos Correa (3.119) – $5.1MM
Lance McCullers (3.140) – $4.6MM
Will Harris (5.102) – $3.6MM
Ryan Pressly (5.039) – $3.1MM
Brad Peacock (4.165) – $2.9MM
Jake Marisnick (4.132) – $2.4MM
Chris Herrmann (4.128) – $1.5MM
Chris Devenski (3.000) – $1.4MM
No-brainers. Hard to see any reason to not tender a contract to Cole, Osuna, McHugh, Correa, McCullers, Pressly, Peacock and Devenski.
Some people might argue that Osuna is not worth that much, but note that the definition of “much” has changed with the contracts being handed out to free agents these days. Plus, you did not trade for him as a rental.
Some might say that you are paying McCullers to basically do nothing in 2019 but heal. But you are actually paying to keep control of a 25-year-old through the 2021 season, who has at times shown devastating stuff.
Some may say that Chris Devenski was finally figured out last season and needs to be replaced with a bigger arm. Please, note that on July 10th he had a sparkling 1.73 ERA. In his next four appearances (leading into a month-long stay on the DL) he gave up 11 of the 22 runs he allowed on the season in just 2.1 innings of work. If you put aside these four appearances where he was likely hurt he had a 2.20 ERA on the season.
Questionable. There are some questions about the other three gentlemen included here – Will Harris, Jake Marisnick and Chris Herrmann.
The first reaction with Harris is that the team will not necessarily have a place for him after a so-so 2018. The mind tells us he failed a lot in 2018, but the truth is he was pretty solid down the stretch when they needed help the most. In his last 13 appearances from mid-August to the end of the season, he was not charged with a run. In his last 22 appearances from mid-July to the end of the season, there was only one game where he allowed inherited runners to score (three in that one game). So, it’s not a no-brainer that they let him go.
Jake Marisnick was a big disappointment in 2018 offensively after a decent showing in 2017. He still managed a 1.7 WAR due to his fielding prowess. If the front office thought they were going to get 2017 JFSF back this would be a no-brainer, but is he going to hold onto a spot when youngsters like Myles Straw and Kyle Tucker are waiting in the wings?
Chris Herrmann may be a no-brainer at this point due to the fact that the Astros have only two catchers on the 40 man roster with MLB experience after letting Martin Maldonado, Brian McCann and Evan Gattis test the free agent waters.
These three spots will telegraph a lot of what the front office is thinking here, because the main reason they would not tender these three players contracts for a piddly total of about $7.5 million (OK – piddly to baseball, not piddly to you and me) is that they need these spots clear for the use of others that they intend to put on the 40-man, such as free agents or those brought in by trades. Its just a guess, but the most likely to not be tendered would be Marisnick followed by Harris and then Herrmann.
Your turn now…who would you tender or more importantly not tender, if you were Jeff Luhnow?