The Houston Astros are looking like they are going to be spenders this offseason. With the recent signing of Justin Verlander, the Astros have now turned their focus to the free-agent outfielder, Starling Marte, who in recent days has been at the top of the list for the Astros.
Astros Going All In
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, several teams are in the mix for the services of Marte next season. The Astros are one of them. If the Astros were to sign Marte, the lineup would get an immediate boost in production. Marte started with the Miami Marlins this past season before getting traded to the Oakland Athletics in July. Marte had a slash line of .310/.383/.458/.841 in 467 at-bats this season.
Adding Marte into the middle of an Astros lineup with Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker is a game-changer. He may not overpower opposing pitchers with the long ball, as Marte only hit 12-home runs this season, but what he can do is get on base. Once on base, Marte is an automatic threat to steal, just like he did 47 times this season. As a team, the Astros combined for a total of 53 stolen bases. Former Astros centerfielder and current Cleveland Guardian Myles Straw led the team with 17 stolen bases while Tucker finished second with 14.
Not being able to generate movement on the base path hurt the Astros during the World Series. Having a player with speed like Marte allows the Astros to not only be more aggressive on the base path, but it will also mean that opposing pitchers will have to be more selective as to how they pitch to Astros hitters. A true dynamic for a team that is still a favorite to win the World Series in 2022.
It will be interesting to watch how the quest for Marte continues to unfold this offseason. The Astros will be aggressive as they try to push for his services, and if successful, this offense will lead the league in runs scored next season.
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