The Houston Astros have landed the top remaining free agent in baseball as spring training gets underway.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Astros have signed starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to a two-year contract that also includes a player option for a third year. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman added that Odorizzi can earn over $30 million on the incentive-laden contract.
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi and the Houston Astros are in agreement on a two-year deal with a player option, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. The last big free agent is off the board.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 6, 2021
Full terms on Odorizzi deal aren’t known but with incentives he has a chance to make $30M over 2 years that would include a buyout on the 3rd year player option #Astros
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 6, 2021
The Astros appear to have been pushed into the signing after young starter Framber Valdez, who had projected as a member of the team’s rotation, suffered a fractured left ring finger that could cost him a good portion of the 2021 season. The Astros also aren’t expecting much from Justin Verlander, who is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Odorizzi was an All-Star in 2019, when he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA for the Minnesota Twins. His 2020 was inconsistent and marred by multiple injuries, so the Astros are hoping the 30-year-old can rediscover his form in 2021.