The MLB lockout is over and the Houston Astros have three free agents they need to call right away.
The greatest sports villain of 2022 has passed away. The MLB lockout put an early damper on spring. Lasting 99 days, it officially came to an end with an agreement on March 10, 2022. For the Houston Astros, it’s time to grab the phones and start making some phone calls.
The Astros have lost what many consider to be the best free agent in baseball this offseason. Shortstop Carlos Correa is the game’s top available player right now and I think most people agree he won’t be returning to play for the Astros again—at least not on his next deal.
While one final phone call to Correa is worth it, there are three other more realistic free agents the Astros need to call with the MLB lockout now buried.
3. Trevor Story
Who better to replace Correa than Trevor Story? The other remaining notable shortstop on the free agent market, he can pick up right where Correa left off.
Story’s major league career has taken place exclusively with the Colorado Rockies. In those six years, he batted .272/.340/.523 with an average of 34 home runs and 98 RBI per 162 games. The Coors Field Effect likely played a role in his success. Nevertheless, he’s a guy with an arsenal of tools the Astros should consider when looking to replace Correa.
Story will undoubtedly cost less but still get a pretty penny. Although he has no Gold Glove, he has posted positive defensive WAR statistics in each season of his career.
For Story, the transition away from Coors Field could look similar to that of former teammate Nolan Arenado. With the St. Louis Cardinals, Arenado may not have looked quite as awesome. Yet he still remains one of the game’s best third basemen for what he can do on both sides of the ball.
If the Astros don’t want to miss a beat, call up Story. Sign him to a deal. Use the money you saved by not committing to Correa to add elsewhere.