Astros avoid arbitration with seven players
No deals reached with Correa, Cole or Devenski
HOUSTON – The deadline for baseball clubs and arbitration-eligible players to exchange filing numbers was earlier today and the Astros agreed to terms on one-year contracts with outfielder Jake Marisnick and pitchers Will Harris, Lance McCullers Jr., Collin McHugh, Roberto Osuna, Brad Peacock and Ryan Pressly.
The two sides avoided arbitration as all seven players were arbitration-eligible.
Shortstop Carlos Correa and pitchers Gerrit Cole and Chris Devenski are the remaining unsigned, arbitration-eligible players on the Astros roster.
Marisnick appeared in 103 games for the Astros in 2018 and finished his season ranking seventh among all American League outfielders in runs saved (11) while committing only one error on the season (in 143 total chances). Marisnick has played for the Astros for the last five seasons.
Harris appeared in 61 games for the Astros in 2018 and posted a 5-3 record and a 3.49 ERA (22 ER/56.2 IP). He recorded career bests in both groundball rate (53.1%) and also swing and miss rate (31.9%). His 2.48 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) ranked for 10th among American League relievers. Harris is set to enter his fifth season with the Astros.
McCullers Jr. will not pitch for the Astros this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery shortly after the 2018 season. He posted a 10-6 record with a 3.86 ERA (55 ER/128.1 IP) in 25 games last season.
Following a dominant season in the bullpen, McHugh is expected to vie for a post in the Astros starting rotation in 2019. As a reliever in 2018, McHugh was 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA (16 ER/72.1 IP) and he ranked fourth in ERA, fourth in WHIP (0.91), fourth in opponent OBP (.252), seventh in opponent batting average (.176) and tied for eighth in strikeouts (94).
Osuna appeared in 23 games for the Astros in 2018 and went 12-for-12 in save opportunities and posted a 1.99 ERA (5 ER/22.2 IP). Houston acquired him on July 30 from Toronto in exchange for three pitchers.
Peacock made a career-high 61 appearances in 2018, posting a 3.46 ERA (25 ER/65 IP) with 96 strikeouts. The right-hander was originally acquired from Oakland as part of a five-player deal in 2013.
Pressly split his 2018 season between Houston (26g) and Minnesota (51g), combining to post a 2.54 ERA (20 ER/71 IP) in 77 appearances, which led the American League. He also ranked fourth among AL relievers in strikeouts (101), eighth in ERA and ninth in strikeouts per 9.0 (12.80). He was acquired by the Astros on July 27, 2018, in exchange for two prospects, and posted a 0.77 ERA (2ER/23.1IP) in 26 games down the stretch for Houston.
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