Maybe it’s time for Jeff Luhnow to spend Thanksgiving at somebody’s house. “Somebody”, as in a difference-making pitcher or hitter.
Remember where then-Boston GM Theo Epstein at his Thanksgiving turkey in 2003? While the Red Sox weren’t coming off back-to-back 100-loss seasons, they had suffered through a humiliating loss to the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Epstein was determined to upgrade his team and wanted Curt Schilling in Boston. He got his man after spending some time in Arizona with Curt’s family.
Many teams have been active over the past several days, but the Astros have only shuffled their roster in an effort to position movement. Getting a little skiddish? Waiting for that big announcement?
No, I wouldn’t be holding my breath for Luhnow to spend Thanksgiving at the homes of Robinson Cano or Carlos Beltran. However, in a side note, I would have approved if the Astros had signed with Josh Johnson or Jhonny Peralta.
However, if Luhnow decides not to visit players on Thursday, he should at least send turkeys to some of these guys.
- This is an easy one for me. Veras seemed at home in Houston as the closer last year and may have prevented some of the bullpen chaos if he’d remained in an Astros’ uniform. Give the man a 2-year deal and be done with it.
- I’ve mentioned him before on these pages. He could be available at a great price and would provide stability. Maybe one year, $1.2 million or so perhaps with an option.
- Okay, this is a band-wagon pick. Every prognosticator and prediction-based blog suggests that the Crain may end up in Houston. When he’s healthy, he can be lights out. Since he didn’t pitch after June this season, he could be a gamble.
- Hey, if the Dodgers can get Dan Haren on a one-year $10 million deal, maybe Luhnow should spend some time with Roy and Ryan.
- Another player who hasn’t been connected to the Astros, but he could be available on a one or two year deal.
For the outfield corner or first base, there are some options (e.g. Mike Morse, Corey Hart and others), but the best position upgrade may come through trade if the Astros want to make a splash. Here are a couple of thoughts, though it would take a spatula, crowbar and a huge chisel to pry them loose.
- High OBP guy who is only 27. He’d fit nicely as the #3 or cleanup hitter in the Astros’ lineup, but it might take an Jose Altuve or Jarred Cosart to get the Royals to begin a discussion.
- So many teams have inquired and Miami says no way. But everyone was asking about Randy Johnson in ’98 and Gerry Hunsicker shocked the world at the midnight hour. What would it take to get him in Houston?
No matter who he goes after, Luhnow will have to ante up and be very creative. Spending Thanksgiving dinner away from Houston and in the home of a prospective upgrade could be part of a successful equation.
Any favorites on your short list to join the Astros this winter?