Some weekend thoughts as the Astros prepare for their first spring game in less than a week.
- Yes, Jeff Luhnow may be wishing he’d spent the $8 million to add Nelson Cruz to the middle of his order. No, it wouldn’t be a long-term move, but the one-year incentive for Cruz is to prove his worth. He’ll essentially be playing in a contract year, hoping to set himself up for a 2-3 year deal this winter. Cruz isn’t a high average guy, but he could have been a good fit when you add him to Jason Castro, Chris Carter and Matt Dominguez — all hitting just behind Dexter Fowler and Jose Altuve.
- That said, if Luhnow does have regrets at the $8 million deal, he can have a do-over with Kendrys Morales, whose stock should be in the same ballpark. Morales would settle the first base question for the Astros as well.
- For years, Cot’s has been the place to track team payroll, contracts and other financial breakdowns. If you’d like to see the Astros’ current payroll, check out this site. If you add in the remaining roster — even at the minimum $500,000 — the Astros get close to the floor of Jim Crane’s promise: $50 million with flexibility to add more payroll between now and July 1.
- Much has been written and said about the broken part of the free agent system that is the qualifying offer. The consensus is the process costs teams too much to sign a Morales, Cruz, as well as Stephen Drew or Ervin Santana. It’s likely the Astros would have been more involved in free agency if there wasn’t the mitigating factor of losing the 34th pick in this summer’s draft. One way to fix the system would be to allow team to trade their draft picks.
- Speaking of the draft, Jonathan Mayo is calling Carlos Rodon “…the best left-hander since David Price“. Following a similar path as Mark Appel, Rodon has been projected as the first pick in this summer’s draft since he was a freshman at North Carolina State. Take a moment and think about Appel, Rodon with Jarred Cosart and perhaps Mike Foltynewicz and Asher Wojciechowski by late next year. Could they push Scott Feldman to the back of the rotation? Or possibly to another team in 2016?
What are you thinking about this weekend?