Houston Astros: What’s Next for the American League Champions?
The Houston Astros were one win shy of winning their second World Series title in the last three seasons. Houston lost to the Washington Nationals in the World Series in seven games.
What is weird about the Astros losing the World Series, is that they did not win a single game at home and they won all three games on the road.
Houston had the best record in the MLB this season at 107-55. They were the heavy favorites to win the World Series and the Houston Astros will now have an interesting offseason ahead.
With starting pitcher Gerrit Cole not appearing in relief in Game 7, he mentioned that he is most likely going to sign elsewhere next season because Cole is a free agent.
Justin Verlander will also be back in the rotation for this team next season. He is 36 years old. Verlander’s contract is up after the 2021 season. There is also some good news for Houston. Zack Greinke is also under contract for the next two seasons. They might need to sign somebody else in the starting rotation.
Maybe it is possible that the Houston Astros maybe go after Stephen Strasburg, but that is highly unlikely. He just won the World Series MVP for Washington. Madison Bumgarner might be the more likely option for this ball club.
Houston has two guys in their farm system that could potentially crack the rotation in 2020. They are right-handed pitcher Forest Whitley (number one prospect for Houston, according to MLB.com) and right-handed pitcher Bryan Abreu (number four prospect for Houston, according to MLB.com), but he has been pitching in relief.
The Houston Astros need to find some relief pitching in the offseason. Chris Devinski, Joe Smith, Will Harris, and Hector Rondon will be free agents. That might need to be their number one priority in the offseason.
Their second priority this offseason might be trying to find a catcher. Robinson Chirinos will be a free agent and I don’t know if Houston will decide to resign him or not.
Yasamini Grandal could be a reliable option for this team but will see.
As long as A.J. Hinch is the still manager of this ball club, the Houston Astros will not be going anywhere anytime soon. Hinch has led this team to two World Series appearances in the last three years.
He has also made it to the playoffs the last four-out-of-five season. Houston has also won at least 100 games for the past three seasons and that is very hard to do.
It is going to feel like a very painful offseason for the Astros. It will feel more painful come spring training because they share the same spring training facility with the Washington Nationals.
The Oakland Athletics, the Los Angeles Angels, the Texas Rangers, and the Seattle Mariners will also not be a threat to take the American League West crown from the Houston Astros anytime soon.
The Oakland Athletics might be the only team that can win this division in 2020 other than the Astros, but Oakland does not have the starting pitching as the Astros do.
Houston will be one of the favorites to win it all next season once again. The New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Minnesota Twins, and the Boston Red Sox will also be a threat to them.
The Houston Astros have eliminated the New York Yankees in the ALCS in 2017 in seven games and in 2019 in six games. Houston also eliminated Tampa Bay in five games in the ALDS. The Rays gave them everything they could have possibly handled, but the Astros were the better team at the end of the day.
On the National League side, the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals could potentially pose the biggest threat to the Houston Astros.
The offseason will tell where Houston is heading into the 2020 season.
How do you see the future of the Houston Astros? Leave a comment below.
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