Astros, Will Harris Agree to Two-Year Deal
Will Harris enjoyed an effective season in 2016, and the Houston Astros have rewarded the reliever with a new two-year deal.
The Houston Astros have locked up one of their best relievers to a two-year deal on Friday. According to Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, the Astros and Will Harris have agreed to a two-year deal worth $5 million. The deal will pay Harris $2.2 million in 2017 and $2.8 million in 2018. The deal also includes an club option for the 2019 season, in which the payout will be determined by how many games Harris finishes. The option will range from $5.5 million to $8.5 million.
The club option for 2019 ranges from $5.5 million to $8.5 million depending on games finished by Harris in 2018.
— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) February 4, 2017
Harris, 32, had a terrific season in 2016 with the Astros. He finished his 2016 campaign with a 2.25 ERA in 64 innings pitched. He was very impressive in striking out whoever he faced, posting a 9.7 K/9, tied for the second best of his career. Over the past two seasons, Harris has a 2.07 ERA with a 9.1 K/9 and a 2.5 BB/9. These numbers earned Harris an All-Star Game appearance in the 2016 season. The Astros have locked up Harris for a bargain if he continues to pitch the way he has been pitching.
The Astros were above average last year as a bullpen. Their relievers posted a 3.56 ERA in the 2016 season, good for 10th in MLB and sixth in the American League. If they want to continue to be successful, they needed to lock up Harris for a couple more years. Their bullpen also pitched a ton of innings last season, finishing third in the American League with 551 innings pitched. The Astros will look to continue their success in 2017.
Harris came in the league in 2012 with the Colorado Rockies, where he struggled initially. In his five-year career, Harris has posted a 3.00 ERA in 234.1 innings. His strikeout rate for his career is very impressive as well, posting a 9.4 K/9. Harris was a late bloomer in the major leagues but has definitely left his mark on the Astros since joining Houston in 2015.
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The Astros finished the 2016 season 84-78, good for third place in the American League West. Their record left them five games out of the last Wild Card spot in the American League, behind the Toronto Blue Jays. The Astros did not have trouble scoring runs last year but did not have the starting rotation to sneak them into the playoffs. The rotation is something that will need to find consistency in order for them to reach the playoffs once again. The signing of Will Harris was a must-do deal, and will benefit them for the next two to three seasons.