The Astros are coming off a shortened season in which they appeared in their fourth consecutive ALCS series before being defeated by the Tampa Bay Rays. Houston now heads into the offseason with a lot of decisions to make, which includes deciding who will replace one of their top players in the lineup.
Three-time All-Star and former World Series MVP George Springer is set to hit free agency and the Astros will likely need to search for a player to take his spot. With the season quickly approaching, here are three players the Astros could sign to replace George Springer.
1. Jackie Bradley Jr.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has built a reputation of being one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball and could easily slide into that position for the Astros. He has had offensive struggles throughout his career, but he bounced back in 2020 hitting .283/.364/.450, which wasn't that far off from Springers' numbers. Bradley has never made more than $11M in a season, which means it is possible he would come to a championship-contending team on a cheaper deal. He won a Gold Glove back in 2018 and could provide a major defensive boost to the outfield. He also runs well and has a lot of playoff experience. Bradley seems like just the player the Astros could be looking for.
2. Kevin Pillar
Kevin Pillar is another outfielder known for his superb defense, but he has been able to excel at the plate as well. In a split season between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies, Pillar finished the 2020 season with a .288/.336/.462 slash line and could be another option that wouldn't cost the Astros a ton of money. Pillar can field any position in the outfield and could easily become the team's everyday center fielder. While his OBP isn't nearly as high as Springer's was, he still has above-average speed and can be a guy that gets on base while hitting in the bottom half of the lineup. It may not be a move that sparks oohs and awes, but signing Pillar may be an option the Astros explore this offseason.
3. Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson would be another option for the Astros and one that is a lot different than Pillar and Bradley Jr. Pederson is known almost solely for his bat and shined during the postseason as he helped the Dodgers win the World Series. He had just a .190 batting average in the regular season, but hit .382 in the playoffs with 2 home runs and 8 RBIs. Pederson has a kind of pop the Astros may be searching for as he has hit 25-plus home runs in a season four times throughout his career. While he may not have the fielding prowess of the other two players, Pederson has played every outfield position and has proven to be an average defender. It may be tough to sign him given the amount of interest from other teams he is rumored to have, but attempting to sign Pederson is definitely worth a shot for the Astros.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.