While the Astros continue to search for that magical final 25, the chatter continues.
- From the “can’t-blame-a-guy-for-trying” category, give Jeff Luhnow an attaboy. It appears the Astros were trying to be shrewd with a 7-year, $23 million offer to George Springer last fall. Sure, if I could tie up my top prospect until he was 31, I’d be on that in a heart beat. Of course, George could be earning $23 million per season by the time he turns 31. If Springer had signed that deal, he’d be standing along the first base line when starting lineups were announced at Minute Maid Park on April 1. Instead, he’ll be trying on his Oklahoma City jersey about that same time as Luhnow tries to delay the clock a bit.
- Also sounds like Luhnow isn’t bowled over with his choices for first base. And, we all thought that shortstop was the big dark hole in the infield. Apparently, Jesus Guzman, Jonathan Singleton, Chris Carter and Marc Krauss don’t cut it in Luhnow’s book. What does that say about the long-term prospects for Singleton? Remember, he hit only .230 at three different levels after returning from that 50-game suspension in 2013. Singleton has 8Ks and only 3 hits in 32 PAs this spring. Will he recover? If so, at what point this season will he become a factor for the Astros?
- If the Astros offered Springer that deal, can Carlos Correa, Mark Appel, Jarred Cosart or others be far behind? Luhnow is apparently attempting to use The Hart Doctrine as his model and he will need that to avoid a bottleneck of hefty pay raises in a few years. With Springer turning down the deal, who should be next on Luhnow’s lock-’em-up docket? My nomination: Cosart. If he picks up where he left off in 2013, he could price himself out of Luhnow’s pocketbook in a hurry.
- Aren’t the Astros still looking for a closer? Michael Foltynewicz has never made a start at AAA, but I’m beginning to wonder why he would need to make a pit stop there this year. And, one other note: During a 23-game stopover in Corpus Christi last season, Folty saved three games. Can you say Brad Lidge? Just sayin’.
- Is Brett Wallace still a free agent?