After making their first big splash move in trading for Dexter Fowler, the Houston Astros checked another off their wish list as they acquired the veteran starting pitcher they’d been looking for — Scott Feldman.
With a three year, $30 million contract, the two newest Astros are now also the two highest paid Astros. The two acquisitions add $17 million to the Astros current payroll, still about $40 million shy of what owner Jim Crane said was available this offseason. This fact should come as a welcome sign to Astros’ fans as the front office is living up to their promise of increasing payroll to make the team as competitive as soon as possible.
At only 30 years off age, the three-year contract gives him plenty of time with the Astros, and he should even be around when the Astros start to become competitive again. He’ll jump into a starting rotation around youngsters Jarred Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer and Brad Peacock.
The resume on Feldman isn’t spectacular, but he’s exactly what the Astros need. He’s not a high pitch count, strikeout pitcher but rather a ground ball, inning-eating pitcher. His low walk rate and low WHIP make him the ideal pitcher in a young rotation. He’ll give the bullpen much-needed breaks as he averaged just over six innings pitched a game in 2013.
Feldman will come into Spring Training as the elder on a young rotation. Other names that figure into the rotation battles are Alex White, Rudy Owens and Asher Wojciechowski, all of whom have invitations to camp.
This is yet another positive move on the resume of the current Houston Astros’ administration. They continue to add talent and take care of their needs while losing very little in the process. A solid relief pitcher or two and perhaps another outfield bat remain the only needs that the Astros have yet to tackle.