The Houston Astros were unceremoniously booted from the MLB Postseason on Monday night after getting absolutely decimated by the Texas Rangers.
Add the Astros to the 26 other teams already focusing their attention on the offseason. While Dusty Baker may be calling it quits this winter, he might not be the only person within the Astros organization not returning in 2024.
Hector Neris and Martin Maldonado might be the two biggest free agents that Houston will look to bring back next season, but there's another Astros free agent who the Cincinnati Reds should have eyes on this offseason.
This Astros free agent could be the perfect fit for the Reds bullpen
There are any number of free agent targets the Cincinnati Reds could have this offseason. Some fans are advocating for a right-handed hitting outfielder with power. Others want Nick Krall to focus on starting pitching. And still some fans throughout Reds Country want Joey Votto back in 2024.
But the bullpen is in need of a boost. After overachieving in 2023, it's very obvious that if Cincinnati hopes to compete in 2024 that the relief corps will need a few extra arms to help supplement the likes of Lucas Sims, Alexis Diaz, and Sam Moll.
Phil Maton is a name to keep a close eye on this offseason. The right-hander has been part of Dusty Baker's bullpen since 2021 and will hit the open market this winter.
Maton will not blow you away with his fastball. According to Baseball Savant, the 30-year-old ranks among the bottom of the league in fastball velocity with his heater sitting at 88.9 mph. But, the reliever does a terrific job at getting weak contact.
Maton ranks in the 99th percentile in average exit velocity, meaning that most of the hits that come from the opposition are not going very far. Maton's ground ball is good enough at 43.4-percent and he gets a fair amount of strikeouts for a low-velocity pitcher (27-percent strikeout-rate).
With one team having punched their ticket to the World Series and the Fall Classic beginning later this week, free agency will be here before you know. Phil Maton is a name that Reds fans should become very familiar with.