Signing Hampton makes sense for Astros

December, 1, 2008
The Astros signed Mike Hampton to a one-year deal, pending a physical exam. The salary Hampton will receive has yet to be announced.

It's a good fit for both sides. Houston just needs some starting pitching depth, and although Hampton is, at best, a back-of-the-rotation starter, if he can stay healthy (stop laughing), he should be exactly that and could soak up some innings around the inevitable DL stint because he throws strikes and gets ground balls.

Houston's park favors right-handed power hitters, but Hampton has long been more effective against right-handed batters, and he keeps the ball down. Astros GM Ed Wade has indicated that he still hasn't been given a firm payroll figure for 2009 -- whenever you're ready, Drayton McLane, we'll just hold the offseason for you -- so signing Hampton is a sensible budget move to ensure that the Astros don't rely too much on the Chris Sampsons of the world to fill out their rotation.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer


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