The MLB Spring Training season is officially underway as the Cactus League and Grapefruit League get rolling. With that in mind, teams are still going to be looking at the remaining free agents as injuries start to pop up.
One guy that has benefitted from that is Jake Odorizzi. The right-handed pitcher was unsigned until this past week when he signed with the Astros. Houston gave Odorizzi a two-year deal with a player option for the 2023 season. Odorizzi is guaranteed $23.5 in the deal, with a $6 million salary in 2021, a $5 million salary in 2022, and a $6.5 million option.
The interest dates back a number of weeks, but recent injuries may have spurred on the signing. Left-handed pitcher Framber Valdez could potentially miss the entire 2021 season after fracturing the ring finger on his throwing hand. Valdez was set to be one of the main pieces of the starting rotation with Justin Verlander still recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Houstons; current rotation consists of Zack Greinke, Jose Urquidy, Lance McCullers Jr., and Cristian Javier in addition to Odorizzi. The last season in Minnesota was a bad one for Odorizzi, who suffered through a number of injuries. That includes blister issues, a strained ribcage, and getting hit in the chest by a linedrive. He posted a 4.01 ERA betwwen 2018 amd 2019, striking out guys at a decent rate of 9.5 per 9 innings.
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