Astros: Off Season

A quick look at who is returning and who has left

Jessica Nettles, Staffer

There are over 76 days until the 2023 baseball season begins, and this offseason has been eventful with  trades and significant signings.

The Houston Astros are coming off their second World Series Championship and are hoping to run it back this coming season. With 38-year-old Yuli Gurriel at first base, the Astros were in need of a new first baseman. In Nov. 2022, the Astros signed White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, to a 3-year 58 million dollar deal. He has a career .292 batting average and .860 ops according to baseball reference, so overall a good deal on the Astros’ part. Abreu will be 36 years old going into this upcoming season and is a 3-time all-star, MVP, and 3-time silver slugger.

The Astros also resigned outfielder/ DH Michael Brantley to a 1 year 12 million dollar deal, Brantley has been on the Astros since the 2019 season and has been reliable with the team. Over the last four years with the team, he has hit .306 and .832 ops and has been consistent with the team during the regular season and during the postseason.

For none baseball fans ops can be a confusing stat, ops stand for on-base plus slugging, which measures how good a player is at hitting. So an ops of .700 would be average, .800 would be a solid season, .900 would be an all-star season, and 1.000 would be an MVP season.

The Astros have a solid pitching rotation, bullpen, and line-up, but their catcher and centerfield positions are lacking and could use an upgrade. The Astros haven’t made a major upgrade to their team since December 21st.

“I think the Astros picked up good players to replace the ones that we lost, and though it was hard, I think it was economically smart on their part to avoid bringing back some players,” senior Crystal Capetillo said.

Earlier this month, the MLB power rankings had the Astros as the number 1 team headed into 2023. They are going into the season with basically the same team that won the World Series, so they are going to be in a good spot even if they don’t make any more moves.

“ I have high hopes for the Astros this season,”  Capetillo said.

They lost out on future Hall of Fame pitcher Justin Verlander to the New York Mets. Verlander was traded to the Astros during the 2017 season and has been a key member of the Astros’ pitching rotation. It will be a major loss to the team, but they have young players who will be able to help the team.

“Justin Verlander was a very important member of our team this last season, and it is sad to see him leave but, I think the team can still do good without him,” senior Brandon Postma said.

The Astros made some much-needed upgrades to the team and some smart decisions financially for their future. They have a good team that will be competitive for many years to come.