It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving. Black Friday is a week away. Only a few weeks until Christmas.
While many teams are adding significant pieces — or at least having serious conversations — the Astros have been virtually silent. Thursday’s roster deadline brought only minimal movement. And no surprises. Hmmm. Anyone getting antsy or a little impatient yet?
Rule 5 draft.
- The Astros will have the fifth pick in next month’s Rule 5 draft. With talent in the pipeline and an already-crowded roster — not to mention additional acquisitions almost certain — there’s no reason to believe the Astros will add a player (at #5) who could hang on the roster for the full season.
- Prediction: The Astros will draft only if they can make a trade.
High profile acquisitions?
- There are few rumors linking the Astros to any major players. Which isn’t exactly Jeff Luhnow’s style anyway. And, since the Astros are more likely to acquire second tier players like Scott Feldman. Doesn’t mean that some of the players won’t be impact additions, just not the front line, $100 million free agents.
- Prediction: Look for a solid Feldman-like addition. Key mindset: Think Cardinals’ style.
Prospects. Just that, prospects.
- Take a look at Baseball America’s top prospect list prior to the 2014 season. Most experts agree the Astros have one of the top five minor league systems in all of baseball. Still, there appears to be only a few can’t miss type prospects. Carlos Correa, Mark Appel and George Springer may actually be the only three on the list who fit into that category. The take away? This winter’s key acquisitions come through trades, using some of the prospect arsenal while they’re young and their prospect status is still somewhat high.
- Prediction: Indeed, prospects will be moved this winter. Yes, there could be another J.D. Martinez or two, but it’s the gamble you take when evaluating prospects.
The take away from Thursday’s activity.
- Perhaps the biggest take away is that there is no takeaway: The Astros’, as usual, are keeping their plans very close to the vest. Luhnow told Evan Drellich of the Chronicle to draw his own conclusions regarding why a player may have been withheld from the 40-man while trade conversations continued. Chances are that executives from other clubs recognize and are privy to some of the Astros’ strategy, but Luhnow is determined not to show his hand. In that respect, nothing has changed.
- Opinion: It’s like an iceberg. We only see the tip. There’s much more “movement” occurring below the surface. Hang tight.
So, what do we know new?
- Actually, not much more than we did Thursday morning. Except perhaps how the Astros may or may not value certain players in the organization. Without doing a survey of major news organizations, it’s likely the Astros would be in the bottom half of the league in rumors or actual confirmed conversations about interest in or contact with other clubs or players.
Questions for your consideration.
- Based on what you’ve seen and heard, how will the Astros make their biggest acquisition this winter: Blockbuster trade or free agent signing?
- Basic question: What is your trust level withLuhnow?
- 1. To do the right thing for the Astros?
- 2. To accurately relate to fans what the Astros’ game plan is?
- Has your hope level diminished in recent days as other teams add/move players while the Astros essentially lie dormant?
- Back to a question asked earlier in the fall: What is now your greatest fear for the Astros in 2015?
- The catcher most likely not to suit up for Houston next April: Jason Castro, Max Stassi, Hank Conger or Carlos Corporan?