It’s a Monday. The World Series is nearing an end, the Steelers are throwing back weird uniforms, all is well in Cajun country with big wins for LSU and the Saints. But as the clock ticks toward the off-season of major league baseball, many are still wondering what the Astros are thinking and what tact GM Jeff Luhnow will take.
So, what are the Astros thinking? About…
- It’s probably the deepest position on the roster, perhaps in the organization. With Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh seemingly set, the Astros also have Brett Oberholtzer and Nick Tropeano in the wings. Brad Peacock may be an odd man out. But Houston also has asked Michael Foltynewicz to prepare this winter as a starter. And Mark Apprel throwing BBs in the fall league. Players like Samuel Deduno must be wondering what the Astros are thinking as well.
- Everyone knows you can never have enough pitching and it would give manager A.J. goosebumps to head into spring training with seven or eight legitimate options for the rotation. So what are theAstros thinking?
- With the depth, perhaps a trade of prospects for legitimate player on the left side of the infield. Or…
- Stack ’em up as deep as you can, because somebody’s not going to perform or somebody else will get hurt.
Jason Castro and the catching situation.
- With all the talk last spring about contract extensions (e.g. George Springer, Robbie Grossman, Matt Dominguez), you never heard a word about any discussions with Jason Castro. With a playerdue a raise in arbitration, it would seem natural Houston would discuss the option with Castro. So, what are theAstros thinking about catcher?
- They’re not satisfied with their group (Castro, Max Stassi, Carlos Corporan, etc), so they’re biding their time until another possibility arises. Or…
- Perhaps catcher will be the focus of one of those trades this winter. Or…
- The numbers guys tell Luhnow that Castro is the guy and will break out sooner than later.
- Either way, the Astros under Luhnow don’t seem to put a lot of stake in drafting catchers. In his time, they’ve never drafted a catcher higher than the sixth round.
The right time to make the move.
- Sooner or later, momentum will turn in favor of theAstros. The free agent who signs, the prospect(s) who gets hot, the current roster player(s) who breaks out.Luhnow gets blamed for failures today and he likely won’t get much credit for those prospects or others breaking out.Luhnow’s best chance is to set the table, minimize the risk and maximize the opportunity. And, place the bet, hoping he’s in the right place at the right time.
- Sooner or later, Luhnow will have to gamble big, either with a huge trade for that middle-of-the-order bat or that back-of-the-bullpen stopper of a pitcher. The question is whether that time is November 2014, July 2015 or November 2015.
That TV deal?
- Yeah, you can fill in the blanks here. What are they thinking?
- Maybe the Astros are simply waiting for the judge to sort it out? Or…
- Are the Astros holding out for the best financial deal for the future?
You must be wondering what the Astros are thinking…about something. What is it?