After bowing out of the MLB playoffs, the Houston Astros' attention will turn from the postseason to the offseason.
Houston has built quite the roster over the years, but each year the team has to weather their free agent losses. Last winter, the Astros lost Justin Verlander to free agency only to have his return during a trade this past summer.
While the Astros' free agent list isn't terribly long, there are a couple significant names among the bunch. Which Houston players are scheduled to hit free agency this offseason and where might they end up?
Complete list of Houston Astros 2024 free agents and predictions
- Martin Maldonado, Catcher: While a .606 OPS is nothing to write home about, Maldonado's work behind the dish and his relationship with the Houston Astros pitching staff is something that the Houston Astros organization values tremendously.
Prediction: Martin Maldonado re-signs with the Houston Astros
- Michael Brantley, Left fielder: This was not the season that the Astros, nor Brantley expected when the two sides agreed to a one-year/$12-million deal during the offseason. Houston will likely to look to upgrade the position during the offseason, so it's likely that Brantley, at 36, will have to sign elsewhere.
Prediction: Michael Brantley signs with the Los Angeles Dodgers
- Hector Neris, Reliever: Neris actually holds a player-option worth $8.5-million next season. At 34 years old, the right-hander has to ask himself if he'd be able to get more on the open market. Neris posted good, but not great numbers in 2023, and his best bet might be to return to Houston for another go.
Prediction: Hector Neris exercises player-option, remains with the Houston Astros
- Ryne Stanek, Reliever: The reliever market will be hot and heavy this offseason, so a pitcher with a track record like Stanek's should have no problem finding work. Stanek's fastball sits at 98 mph, and several teams will be hoping he can return to that 2022 form.
Prediction: Ryne Stanek signs with the Baltimore Orioles
- Phil Maton, Reliever: If you're a team who loves relievers that pitch to contact, Maton is your guy. According to Baseball Savant, Maton placed in 99th percentile in exit velocity. If you've got a good infield defense, you love playing behind a pitcher like Maton.