Houston Astros sign OF Josh Reddick to a 4yr/$52MM contract

The Houston Astros have agreed to sign OF Josh Reddick to a four-year contract worth $52MM. The 30 year-old will move over to Left Field with George Springer manning right. The left-handed slugger spent the 2016 season with both the A's and Dodgers while batting .281/.345/.405 over 439 plate appearances. 

How this will affect Houston's OF future outlook: With George Springer under team control for at least the next four years, the Astros only needed to focus on improving center field and left considering the team got horrible production from those two positions last year with Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez each posting an OPS below .650. Now that the Astros have Reddick on board, the team can check off left field for the foreseeable future. Derek Fisher and Kyle Tucker will be knocking on the door soon so GM Jeff Luhnow might have to make a corresponding move. 

How this will affect Houston's overall future outlook: Josh Reddick has been a slightly above-average hitter who has been portrayed as a dominant slugger in Oakland's futile lineup. He'll be an upgrade over anything the Astros put out in left field last year as Houston's left fielders combined to bat .203/.279/.354 over the 2016 season. His left-handed bat along with the newly-acquired McCann will help balance a lineup that will feature Altuve, Correa, Springer, and Bregman in the heart of it for years to come.

Bottom Line: Reddick's left-handed bat is a nice fit in this lineup. He won't be a superstar, but he'll get the job done as a reliable everyday player. 

Grade:  B

Houston Astros acquire C Brian McCann from New York Yankees for RHP's Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman

The Houston Astros and New York Yankees have agreed on a trade involving Brian McCann heading to Houston while RHP Albert Abreu and RHP Jorge Guzman will be heading to New York. The 32 year-old catcher batted .242/.335/.413 last year with 20 Home Runs in 492 Plate Appearances and still has two years and $34MM left on his contract with a $15MM option for 2019 that will vest based on McCann reaching various playing milestones over the next two years. The Yankees will cover $11MM of his remaining salary. 

How this affects Houston's catcher future outlook: With Jason Castro hitting the free agent market, the Astros quickly moved in a direction after acquiring Brian McCann from the Yankees. McCann isn't the perennial Silver Slugger he was back in Atlanta, but he should continue to give Houston solid production behind the plate as the team continues to find it's long-term solution at the position. 

How this affects Houston's overall future outlook: With a young core already established, McCann will prove to be an upgrade offensively over Castro, although his pitch framing and overall defense won't be as good. Considering Altuve, Correa, Springer, and Bregman are all righties, bringing in a left-handed bat like McCann should help balance out the lineup. The team could look to move Gattis after McCann's acquisition. RHP's Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman don't figure to make much of an impact for a with neither player reaching Double-A yet. 

Bottom Line: After Jason Castro departed in free agency, the Astros traded for the left-handed hitting Brian McCann to fill in as the backstop for the next couple years that will balance out the righty-heavy lineup. 

Grade: B

Houston Astros sign RHP Charlie Morton to 2yr/$14MM contract

The Houston Astros have signed 33 year-old free agent right-handed pitcher, Charlie Morton to a 2yr/$14MM contract that includes up to $5MM worth of incentives. The long-time Pirate was shipped to Philadelphia for the 2016 season, but suffered a season-ending injury just four starts into the season. 

How this affects Houston's RHP future outlook: Besides Dallas Keuchel, the Astros are loaded with right-handers in their rotation. Adding Morton to fill a spot in the back of the rotation just continues the Astros' right-handed ways. It's only a two-year deal, but Morton's signing will make the Astros more comfortable with trading their younger right-handers. 

How this affects Houston's overall future outlook: The 33 year-old Morton is obviously more of a short-term bandaid than a long-term solution. His signing will allow GM Jeff Luhnow the ability to give his younger pitchers more time to develop while expanding the amount of time until Luhnow finds a more reliable solution. 

Bottom Line: Instead of going for the home-run, GM Luhnow signs Morton in a low-risk/low-reward type of deal.

Grade: C