Odorizzi, who turns 31 in late March, is coming off a 2020 season in which he was limited to just four starts for the Twins because of three separate trips to the injured list. None of those injuries, however, involved his arm. For his career, Odorizzi owns a 3.92 ERA/105 ERA+ and a K/BB ratio of 2.78 across parts of nine major league seasons. In 2019, he was an All-Star with Minnesota.
Coming into the offseason, our own R.J. Anderson ranked Odorizzi No. 27 among the top 60 free agents. Here's part of what he wrote:
"Odorizzi has never had issues with durability in the past, and has demonstrated that he can be an effective mid-rotation starter on the strength of his fastball and splitter. He should be able to find work as someone's No. 3 or No. 4 starter, with the hope that he can have a good enough season to land a multi-year deal around this time in 2021."
As for the Astros, they had a clear need in the rotation after Framber Valdez recently sustained a finger injury that figures to sideline him for quite a while. As well, ace Justin Verlander will miss the entirety of the 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Forrest Whitley is also presently dealing with arm soreness. That's to say nothing of Zack Greinke's advancing age and Lance McCullers Jr.'s history of injury.
At this late hour, Odorizzi was the most coveted free agent left on the market, and the Blue Jays were among the teams reported to have been interested in him.