The Astros enter 2020 after an off-season of more loss than addition. The players that were with the team at the end of the 2019 regular season that have moved on include Gerrit Cole, Wade Miley, Robinson Chirinos, Jake Marisnick, Collin McHugh, Will Harris, Hector Rondon and Aaron Sanchez.
There are a lot of ways to rank these losses, but this is one shot at it.
- Gerrit Cole. We can pretend that the pickup of Zack Greinke makes up for 90% of this loss, but let’s face it – Cole had been brilliant for two seasons with the Astros and to expect it not to hurt is ridiculous.
- Will Harris. Ignore the couple big swings he gave up in the World Series. Will Harris was the best late-inning reliever for the Astros in 2019, especially after Ryan Pressly was injured and with Roberto Osuna being shaky at times.
- Wade Miley. Wade would be up a spot, except he disappeared down the stretch and the playoffs and the fact that Lance McCullers Jr. should be expected to bring similar numbers to the team.
- Robinson Chirinos – Chirinos did a good job for the team, bringing a solid bat to the catcher’s spot and reasonable handling of the staff. This could be a bigger hole, but it is likely that Martin Maldonado plus Dustin Garneau (or Garrett Stubbs) will bring as much back as Chirinos plus Max Stassi (with a little late season Maldonado).
- Collin McHugh. McHugh had been excellent out of the bullpen in 2018. He started the 2019 season in the rotation, was injured and wobbled along to a below-average result last season. If he puts it together in Boston, this might climb this list.
- Jake Marisnick. Jake was his typical top glove, meh bat in 2019. Oh, and he was a heck of a catcher bulldozer. It would seem that Myles Straw will take over this role though not likely to attempt to plow any catchers into the ground. Jake is the only player on this list that was traded rather than leaving in free agency.
- Hector Rondon. Rondon was pretty much an average reliever in 2019. The Astros are hoping they can get more out of someone like Bryan Abreu at a much cheaper price tag.
- Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez had a wonderful debut as part of a late-season no-hitter, followed it up with another win and then started pitching poorly for two games prior to the discovery that he needed shoulder surgery. (Technically he is not completely gone, because he has not signed with any other team as he rehabs).
So, how would you rank these losses? Beyond Cole, who do you wish was returning to this club?