The Houston Astros have signed veteran pitcher Jake Odorizzi to a two-year deal with a player option, pending his physical, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Injuries limited Odorizzi, who turns 31 on March 27, to just 13 2/3 innings with the Twins last season, in which he made four starts and had a 6.59 ERA. But, otherwise, he has been one of the better starters in baseball over the last handful of years.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network also reported that Odorizzi's deal includes incentives.
Odorizzi's signing comes after left-hander Framber Valdez, one of the Astros' best starting pitchers, fractured his left ring finger in a spring game on Tuesday fielding a comeback in the first inning. Valdez stayed in the game and pitched the second inning, but doctors recommended that he have surgery to repair the fractured finger. With surgery, Valdez could be in jeopardy of missing the 2021 season, according to Heyman.
Although the Astros are seeking a second opinion on Valdez's finger before making a final decision, adding Odorizzi suggests they do not expect Valdez back pitching for them soon.
Signing Odorizzi a two-year deal gives Houston some insurance in case it does not re-sign Zack Greinke or Justin Verlander, who are both free agents after the season. Verlander, the 2019 AL Cy Young award winner, had Tommy John surgery in late September and is likely to miss most or all of 2021.
Odorizzi has spent the last three years with the Twins. He was an All-Star in 2019, finishing the year with a 15-7 record and a 3.51 ERA in 159 innings. He debuted with the Royals in 2012, appearing in just two games, and was traded to the Rays in the deal that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City. He finished eighth for the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2014. The Brewers selected Odorizzi at No. 32 overall in the 2008 MLB Draft.