Goodrum to bring his versatility to Astros

March 13th, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Astros have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran Niko Goodrum, he told on Saturday, adding depth and versatility to the roster.

The Astros have not confirmed the deal. The agreement is for $2.1 million, plus incentives, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported.

Goodrum said he plans to fly to Houston on Sunday and take a physical on Monday. He’ll then fly back to his home in Atlanta and drive down to West Palm Beach to join his new team on Tuesday.

“One of the big things is winning,” Goodrum said of what drew him to Houston. “I've been playing against them for four years and just see the amazing things going on.”

Goodrum spoke about the club with outfielder Robbie Grossman, a former Astro and his Tigers teammate last year.

“You hear about all the things they’re doing over there and how they make players better,” Goodrum said. “It’s just a good fit. I had a good conversation with them, and I liked the things they were saying and what I can bring to them. I’m very excited.”

Goodrum, 30, spent the past four seasons with the Tigers after breaking into the Major Leagues with the Twins in 2017. He can play all over the infield and outfield, which gives the Astros another option at shortstop to help fill the void left by free agent Carlos Correa and provides some depth in center field, where Jake Meyers is expected to miss a couple of months because of a shoulder injury.

Goodrum, a switch-hitter, has a career slash line of .230/.303/.396 with 42 homers, 11 triples, 45 steals and 151 RBIs in 387 games. All but 11 of those games have come with the Tigers, who never had a winning season while Goodrum was in Detroit.

“I hate to lose,” he said. “Winning will be a culture change and very different from when I was in Detroit. I’m very excited for that.”

Correa remains a free agent and isn’t expected to return to Houston, where he has been the starting shortstop since 2015. Without Correa, the Astros’ plan entering 2022 is to turn to Jeremy Peña, a terrific fielder who must prove he can hit Major League pitching. Peña is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Astros’ No. 4 prospect.

Veteran infielder Aledmys Díaz will play some shortstop, as well, but his best role is playing all over the diamond. Goodrum has played every position in his Major League career except catcher and pitcher, spending the bulk of his time at shortstop (147 games) and second base (114 games).

“Initially, they said [I’d play] shortstop and center,” Goodrum said, “but you know me -- I play everything. I’m open to whatever. I’ll do whatever I have to do.”