The Houston Astros landed the first big free agent signing with Jose Abreu, but the World Series champs don’t have to stop star-hunting there.
Following the Houston Astros‘ victory in the 2022 World Series, the big names available in MLB free agency seemed to make people think that there would be a frenzy for some of the high-priced talent on the market right away. Instead, it’s largely been like a prizefight with the fighters feeling one another out.
But as it turns out, the Astros were the team to land the first major blow.
On Monday, Houston inked veteran first baseman and former AL MVP Jose Abreu to a three-year pact that fills a big need that the club even tried to address at the trade deadline by dealing for Trey Mancini. Abreu may be in his late-30s but he’s been a consistent force at the plate and makes the Houston lineup even scarier.
That doesn’t mean the Astros are done, however. This is a team that appears primed to be aggressive and Abreu doesn’t have to be the last star they bring onto the roster this offseason. Here are three more stars that the team could still add this offseason.
Houston Astros: 3 more stars to sign after landing Jose Abreu
3. Re-signing Justin Verlander is a must for the Astros
This is the easiest move to peg for the Astros because it’s the simplest. Just bring Justin Verlander back for another contract.
Verlander returned in the 2022 season after missing all of the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery he underwent at the conclusion of the abbreviated 2020 campaign and simply got back to being one of the best pitchers in baseball. His AL Cy Young award stands firmly as evidence of that. But so too does his 18-4 record and 1.75 ERA on the year as well.
Any deal that Verlander signs this offseason, be it with Houston or otherwise, will likely be a relatively short-term deal given that he’ll be 40 years old at the start of next season. However, he more than proved he still has gas in the tank and could be the most realistic option for the Astros to maintain their elite starting rotation.
Yes, there’s a chance that Houston could look for a more long-term approach in the manner of signing someone like Carlos Rodon, but Verlander makes the most sense given his history with the organization, his success this past year and the Astros’ willingness to be aggressive.