Houston Astros Re-Sign Reliever Rafael Montero on a Sizable Three-Year Deal

Social Navigation

Houston Astros Re-Sign Reliever Rafael Montero on a Sizable Three-Year Deal

Chicago Cubs

Well, we’ve seen three free agent relievers signing so far, all with their own team, and all on very sizable deals.

It was Edwin Diaz and the Mets, then Robert Suarez and the Padres, and now it’s world champion reliever Rafael Montero and the Houston Astros, re-upping for three years and $34.5 million (per Jeff Passan on Instagram, having told folks to go there from Twitter for some of his newsbreaking … ).

Montero, 32, like Suarez does not have a long track record of elite success in the big leagues, despite signing this sizable deal at age 32. Clearly the Astros believe in what they have. Montero posted a 2.37 ERA over 68.1 innings, with a 2.64 FIP, a 27.0% K rate, and an 8.5% BB rate. His 2.9% barrel rate was almost unbelievably low, so that’s the big selling point. The 52.9% groundball rate was certainly also good.

At this price point, though, you do start to wonder whether we’re seeing escalation in the relief market. With limited bullpen sizes now (eight relievers on a thirteen pitcher staff), maybe teams have decided that the most reliable guys – even if not closer-level elite guys – are worth a whole lot more money? We’ll see as the offseason goes on. Montero wasn’t projected to get close to this amount on any of the lists I saw; heck, he didn’t even make FanGraphs’ top 50. This is just a surprisingly large deal.

But also … who signed this deal? The Astros lost GM James Click and fired Assistant GM Scott Powers this week. I mean, I’m sure someone is in charge, but he’s allowed to commit that much future money? Interesting.

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.