Now that baseball is back, the Houston Astros are set to be the most hated team during the 2020 MLB season. The good news for them? It remains unlikely they will play in stadiums filled with angry fans. That will have to wait until 2021.
The focus now returns to the field and the Astros should be competing for a World Series once again. Houston already has a stacked roster, but there are a few additions that can be made to patch up some holes once the signing freeze is lifted this week.
3. Clay Buchholz
Clay Buchholz was last an All-Star in 2013, but he did post a 7-2 record with a 2.01 ERA in 2018 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. While he struggled in 2019 with the Toronto Blue Jays in what was an uncharacteristically bad year given his career numbers, the right-hander has a career 3.98 ERA and can add depth to Houston's pitching staff. His experience is invaluable and he can fight for the fifth starter spot on a team-friendly deal.
2. Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig is easily the most prominent name still on the market. He split 2019 between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians and it's a shock he does not have a contract for 2020. Puig would come in as a backup outfielder, but could also be a DH and a valued pinch-hitter. Adding too much talent never hurts, and getting a career 18.9 WAR player on the bench would make the Astros look like geniuses, especially while the rest of the league overlooks him.
1. Tony Sipp
Tony Sipp's name came up this offseason in regards to the sign-stealing scandal. He reportedly let the Washington Nationals know about some sign-stealing taking place, but the Astros can't hold a grudge -- they let him go and he played with the Nats into August. Sipp was in Houston from 2014-2018 and had a 9.9 K/9 during that span, which included a career year in 2018 (he posted a 1.86 ERA in 54 games!). He can return and add experience to a young bullpen after a lackluster year with the Nats.