Biggest Astros Offseason Acquisitions Since 2000

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Every year MLB teams make moves in the offseason to try to put their team over the top. Whether it is a big trade or a free agent signing, there are moves that make a major difference to the history of a franchise. The Houston Astros had some lean years during the 2000s, but the mid-2000s and mid-2010s to the present have been the best stretches in team history. A large reason why was due to the Astros offseason acquisitions over that time frame.

A little note before shifting to the list, these are offseason moves only. Justin Verlander would easily be on this list, but he was acquired midseason. Here are the biggest Astros offseason acquisitions since 2000.

Roger Clemens Signs Three One-Year Deals 2004-06

The Astros managed to coax Roger Clemens out of retirement with a one-year deal on January 19, 2004. The deal proved very fruitful for both sides as the Astros made it to the NLCS. They later went onto lose to the St. Louis Cardinals. Clemens would go 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA winning his seventh and final Cy Young Award in the process. During the following offseason, Houston gave Clemens another one-year deal for the 2005 season. They would make it to the World Series (the first appearance in franchise history) and lose to the Chicago White Sox. Clemens would go 13-8 with a league leading 1.87 ERA and finished third overall in Cy Young Award voting. Clemens wasn’t signed in 2006 until midseason, so he only made 19 starts, and it was his final year as an Astro.

Andy Pettitte Signs Three-Year Deal 2004-06

In the same offseason the Astros signed Clemens, Houston signed Andy Pettitte to a three-year, $31.5 million deal on December 16, 2003. The lefty was on his way to a solid season in 2004 when an elbow injury ended his season prematurely. He put it all together in 2005, where he went 17-9 with a 2.39 ERA. He finished fifth in American League Cy Young voting that year. Pettitte was an important part of their World Series run. He couldn’t back up his spectacular ’05 season in 2006, but he ate up a lot of innings, posting a 4.20 ERA in 214.1 innings.

Astros Trade for Gerrit Cole

The Astros traded for Gerrit Cole on January 13, 2018 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cole was a good pitcher with the Pirates, but with the Astros he took his pitching to the next level. In two seasons with the Astros, Cole pitched to a 2.68 ERA. He went 35-10 and struck out 602 batters in 412.2 innings of work. Furthermore, he finished fifth overall in AL Cy Young Award voting in 2018 and was the runner-up for that award in 2019. In 2018, Cole aided the Astros on their way to the ALCS before falling to the Boston Red Sox. In 2019, Houston made it to their third World Series appearance in franchise history, where they went onto lose to the Washington Nationals.

Charlie Morton Signs Two-Year Deal 2017-18

During the 2016-17 offseason, the Astros made a quiet move that ended up paying dividends. They signed veteran Charlie Morton to a two-year, $14 million dollar deal on November 16, 2016. In nine seasons with three teams, Morton had pitched to a 4.54 ERA, putting together a 46-71 record in the process. He had very little success. However, with the Astros he really blossomed. In his two seasons with the Astros, he went 29-10 with a 3.36 ERA. He earned his very first All-Star nod in 2018. This is quietly one of the most important offseason acquisitions in the Astros franchise history. Morton will be forever linked to the Astros due to his role in helping them to win the franchise first World Series Championship in 2017. The veteran pitched the final four innings in relief, giving up only one run which came in his first inning of work, an image forever ingrained in the minds of Houston Astros fans.

Josh Reddick Signs Four-Year Deal 2017-20

The Astros have a great history of developing core position players such as Craig Biggio, Jose Altuve, and George Springer to name a few. Houston didn’t make a lot of offseason acquisitions in terms of major position players until the signing of Josh Reddick. Reddick signed the longest and most lucrative signing under Jim Crane’s ownership, which began in 2011. He signed a four-year, $52 million deal signed in November of 2016. While Reddick never repeated his performance in 2017 where he had an .847 OPS, he still had a solid four-year run. Houston clinched a postseason berth each of those four seasons where he typically filled out the back-half of the Astros stacked lineup.

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