Astros urgency to sign Blake Snell just went way up thanks to untimely injury

The Houston Astros may have no choice but to sign Blake Snell after another injury to their pitching staff.

San Diego Padres v Houston Astros
San Diego Padres v Houston Astros / Bob Levey/GettyImages

The Houston Astros are the latest team to enter the Blake Snell sweepstakes. The Scott Boras client's asking price is rumored to be a short-term, yet high-AAV deal around $66 million over two years. The important part to Snell and Boras is that his contract includes an opt-out after the first year.

The Astros initially balked at that asking price, thinking it far too high for a player they might lose next winter anyway. However, it's also the price of doing business with the defending NL Cy Young winner. At some point, one of these owners will have to pony up on a short-term investment.

Houston's urgency may have just gone up thanks to an untimely injury suffered by Jose Urquidy, who was set to open the season in the Astros starting rotation.

Per Chandler Rome of The Athletic, "Urquidy has a forearm strain and will begin the season on the injured list, Joe Espada said. Asked about the status of Urquidy’s UCL, Espada said the only information he has is that it’s a forearm strain."

Astros rotation is shorthanded as Houston chases Blake Snell

Scott Boras has long looked for a leverage play with both Snell and Jordan Montgomery, and he now finally has one.

Urquidy is just the latest Astros starting pitcher to hit the injured list, as Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers and Luis Garcia are all hurt. Houston received some good news on Verlander Monday, as he's expected to start throwing early this week.

Framber Valdez was named Houston's Opening Day starter last week, and he'll be joined in the rotation by Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, Ronel Blanco and JP France.

Signing Snell would provide the Astros with a bonafide ace alongside Javier, and give them arguably the best rotation in the American League once Verlander returns. Reinforcements are on the way for Houston, but GM Dana Brown doesn't want to dig too big of a hole in the standings beforehand.

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