Astros finalize 2-year deal with Odorizzi

March 9th, 2021

With ace left-hander dealing with a fractured finger that could keep him sidelined for an extended time, the Astros bolstered their starting pitching depth by agreeing to a two-year deal with free agent right-hander , the team announced on Monday night.

The deal includes a player option for 2023, sources told's Mark Feinsand. He is guaranteed $20.25 million over two years with the Astros, but he can earn almost $24 million with 30 appearances combined in 2021-22, per sources. He can earn up to $30 million over two years with very attainable performance bonuses. The club did not announce the financial terms of the deal.

The deal is structed so that Odorizzi gets a $6 million signing bonus, $6 million in 2021 and $5 million in 2022, according to sources. There’s a '23 player option worth $6.5 million, ($3.25 million buyout), but escalators can max those out at $12.5 million and $6.25 million, respectively.

Odorizzi, 30, is coming off a season in which he pitched only 13 2/3 innings with the Twins due to three stints on the injured list, but he was an All-Star for Minnesota for the first time in 2019. That season, he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA (129 ERA+) and 178 strikeouts in 159 innings.

Valdez, who went 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 11 games (10 starts) with the Astros last year, fractured the ring finger on his left hand when he fielded a comebacker off the bat of the Mets’ Francisco Lindor in the left-hander's first Grapefruit League start Tuesday. The Astros have not given a timetable on how long Valdez will be out as he seeks a second opinion for a course of treatment.

The Astros were already without 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, who made one start last year before injuring his arm and eventually undergoing Tommy John surgery that will sideline him in '21. With Odorizzi coming on board, the Astros rotation will consist of veteran , , ,  and Odorizzi.

By agreeing to a two-year deal with Odorizzi, the Astros will have him under contract in 2022, which provides some insurance with Verlander, Greinke and McCullers all set to become free agents after this season.

Odorizzi was with the Rays from 2013-17 when Astros general manager James Click was working in Tampa Bay’s front office. Houston also signed a pair of other former Rays pitchers this offseason -- relievers Ryne Stanek and Steve Cishek (Minor League deal).

Odorizzi was a free agent after the 2019 season, but he opted to accept Minnesota’s $17.8 million qualifying offer instead of testing the open market. He made three trips to the injured list last year with an intercostal strain, a chest contusion and a blister on his right middle finger.

A nine-year veteran, Odorizzi has recorded a lifetime 3.92 ERA (105 ERA+) with 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings while pitching for the Royals, Rays and Twins.