The Houston Astros leaned on a strong pitching staff, an experienced lineup and a veteran manager to take home the 2022 World Series title. The time for celebration has come, but so has the time for looking ahead. The Astros have a chance to repeat as champions if they upgrade at a few key spots.
Houston is going to be a popular potential landing spot for every free agent, as the chance of winning a title is always appealing. Here's a look at three players the Astros should key in on when free agency opens on Thursday.
Houston Astros Free Agency
1. Jose Abreu, DH
Trey Mancini, Aledmys Diaz and David Hensley all saw starts in the World Series due to the fact that Houston lacked a dangerous designated hitter. Jose Abreu is one of the best power hitters on the free agent market and if any team could pull him out of Chicago, it is the Astros. Abreu has smacked at least 20 home runs seven times and has topped 100 RBIs six times during his nine-year MLB career. He also owns an impressive batting line of .292/.354/.506. The three-time All-Star is best suited as a DH at this point of his career, but he can also play first base if needed.
2. Christian Vazquez, C
Christian Vazquez did everything the Astros asked him to do and more after he was acquired at the August trade deadline, accepting a backup role despite being a starter with the Boston Red Sox. While he didn't contribute much offensively, he made more of an impact with his defense and game-calling. Vazquez has long been praised as one of the best pitch-framers in the league and can create a great relationship with any starting pitcher. That was put on full display when he helped the Astros put together the first combined no-hitter in World Series history. This is a signing that Houston needs to prioritize before Vazquez's market grows.
3. Corey Dickerson, OF
Yes, the trio of Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez and Chas McCormick is all but locked in for the Astros' outfield in 2023. However, the depth behind those players is lacking with both Michael Brantley and Aledmys Diaz hitting free agency. It's not worth it for Houston to spend big in the outfield, but adding a veteran capable of stepping in as a late-inning replacement would be smart. Former All-Star and Gold Glove winner Corey Dickerson would fit that role nicely, especially given his proven track record at the plate (career .805 OPS) and in the field playing multiple outfield positions.
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