Would you rather: Astros’ Edition

Welcome to a new version of an old game called “Would you rather….”

Would you rather…..


a) Have the Astros follow the Miami Marlins’ model and spend like crazy for two World Series wins and then cut and burn the team so bad that you have no other playoff appearances or…..

b) Have the Astros follow the Tampa Bay Rays’ model: Build up a competitive team for the long run, winning record 6 of the last 7 seasons and 4 playoff appearances – but no WS wins?


a) Have the Astros use a closer from within, like Chad Qualls or Michael Foltynewicz or…

b) Trade prospects for an established closer or…

c) Use a big chunk of the “extra” money this season on a top notch free agent closer or….

d) Bring in some good relievers who have never closed before and anoint one the closer?


a) Have the Astros sign one big splash FA or….

b) Spend the bucks on multiple mid-level FAs or….

c) Save some of the extra bucks for moves during the 2015 season?


a) Have the Astros keep Dexter Fowler and his likely $9 million salary after arbitration or….

b) Try to sign Fowler to a multi-year contract or….

c) Trade Fowler for some RP or 3B help and use some of the saved salary to patch up the team?


a) Have Matt Dominguez break out or….

b) Jon Singleton break out or…

c) Jonathan Villar break out or….

d) Brett Oberholtzer break out?


a) Have Jose Altuve regress or…

b) Collin McHugh regress or…

c) Dallas Keuchel regress?


a) Have the Astros return to the National League, but go another 50+ years without a WS championship or….

b) Remain in the American League and win a WS within the next 5 seasons?


a) Have George Springer win the MVP or….

b) Collin McHugh win the Cy Young or….

c) A.J. Hinch win the Manager of the Year award?


a) Have the Astros trade away Mark Appel or….

b) Trade away Domingo Santana or….

c) Trade away Lance McCullers Jr.?


a) The Astros drop the tandem pitching process in the minors or….

b) Mow down Tal’s Hill and toss the flag pole onto the non-playing side of the fence or….

c) Move the Crawford’s Boxes back to a normal distance from home plate?

So, what do you think?

122 comments on “Would you rather: Astros’ Edition

  1. 1. A – I don’t want to go through the past 5 years again
    2. A – I like the home grown idea
    3. C – Hope that 2015 will need a piece or two to get us to a possible playoff (wishful thinking)
    4. A. – I like what Fowler brings but if the offer is too good to refuse, then take it.
    5. B – Singleton would be the best of these choices for a breakout year
    6. A – Altuve will probably regress some anyway but hopefully not much
    7. B – As much as I despise the AL and Bud Selig, I’d rather have a WS in 5 years
    8. B – Tough one but CY for Mchugh is a better deal
    9. B – Another tough call
    10. B or C – that’s a tough choice, I dislike both but Tal’s Hill buy a nose

    One another note the likelihood that anyor all of these will take place:
    A Slim to none
    B When Hell Freezes over
    C When pigs fly
    D When the Astros win the WS
    E Anytime this year (We’re all optimist’s)


  2. OK

    1 B build smart, build long term and win a WS
    2 D for 2014 a couple new good arms and let the best man close or who is earning it, 2015 different philosophy
    3 C save $ for 2015 playoff team
    4 C see you Fowler, to half assed for me and will always figure out a way to only play 115 games.

    5. B of that list I guess Singleton UGH
    6. Altuve just a tiche to .320

    7.easy B
    8.Hinch- means the Team did well
    9. Domingo- can never have to much pitching
    10. A Im weird but I like the uniqueness that CB and TH brings to MM


    • That is my biggest problem with Fowler – if you can’t have a guy for more than 70% of the season should you be paying him $9 million?


  3. 1. Of these two choices I follow the Rays model
    2. d, bring in good relievers and find a closer.
    3. I say c, because at this moment the first two won’t work
    4. Keep Fowler and trade him at the July deadline.
    5.I would rather Singleton break out because he’s signed already and 1B has been horrible for us since Berkman left.
    6. I would rather Altuve regress, because he has room to regress and still be a terrific player. If his BA regresses 40 points he’s a 300 hitter. If he steals less bases, he still scores on Springer’s dingers.
    7. Remain in the AL and win it all. I want to beat the Cubs in the WS.
    8. I would rather Hinch win MOY because that would mean our team outperformed everyone’s expectations.
    9. I would rather trade Santana than the other two.
    10.Drop the tandem. I bet that’s a huge surprise. We’re building our team around The Crawford boxes(groundball staff and flyball lineup). I don’t like Tal’s Hill but I think the tandem is dreadful.


  4. 1. a
    2. d
    3. b…but this is tough. I want legitimate players in the lineup.
    4. a…injury history makes me want caution
    5. b…his ceiling is so much higher than Dominguez, Villar, or Olber
    6. b
    7. b
    8. a…MVPs come from playoff teams
    9. b or c … I really liked Santana in spring training despite him looking overmatched. I read good things about LMJ. I’ve seen Appel dominate and expect it will happen in an Astros uniform.
    10. a – or at least drop tandem at AA+

    Having answered the questions, I want to complain about the free agent market. The dollars being thrown around are not conducive to the Astros getting top talent. At this rate, Michael Morse will sign a 4 year, $80 million contract with someone.


  5. My turn,

    1. Have the Astros follow the Tampa Bay Rays’ model because being in the payoffs year after year is a lot more fun than being in the world series once and then missing the playoffs for years following it. (see Astros’ seasons 1997 – 2005).

    2. Have the Astros choose a closer from within. Over the course of the history of the Houston Ballclub, the only closers that began their careers with other teams then came to Houston and garnered at least 50 career saves with our teams are Fred “Flintstone” Gladding (my favorite) with 76 saves, Jose Valverde with 69 saves, and Doug Jones with 62. Of course the leaders are homegrown Wagner, Smith, and Lidge with over 123 saves each.

    3. Save the money for later season moves. Let us see how the youngsters perform and we may catch lightning in a bottle with one of them ala George Springer.

    4. The club should trade Fowler and get a seventh and/or eighth inning reliever. Our third baseman of the future is another year away.

    5. Singleton needs to break out this season. Imagine him, Springer, Carter hitting 30+ homers and driving in 100+ runners each! Then, (dreaming here so give me a break) Castro reverts to his allstar season and hits 20+ bombs, Dominguez returns to hitting 20+ homers, and we pickup 20 – 40 homers from the combination of other outfielders and our double play combo.

    6. Have Altuve regress in his base stealing totals. Keep the hits coming though!

    7. The Astros have quickly and quietly been rebuilt as an American League (spit) team. So leave them be.

    8. I would like to see Springer win the Most Valuable Player award. That alone could pull Hinch in for Manager of the Year.

    9. I think McCullers could be the one to be traded away. Prospectus reports believe he is better suited for short relief and those type of pitchers are readily available to replace him. Appel is a “take the ball every fifth day” type of pitcher and Santana could be an everyday player.

    10. The tandem pitching setup is a joke in my opinion.

    Thanks for the great subjects!


    • Fine job, Sarge. Fred Gladding was also one of my favorites. For the younger readers – he was a good reliever for us in the late 60’s and early 70’s after coming over from the Tigers. He was a large rotund guy with glasses and the single worst batter I’ve seen in the majors. His career numbers – 1 hit in 63 ABs with 40 Ks.
      But a decent pitcher.


      • Also, Gladding was the first better that I noticed that batted opposite of his throwing hand. I thought “how can a person throw right handed and then expose his throwing shoulder to the other team’s pitcher?” Later I realized that people’s brain can be wired that way from the start. I then taught myself to switch hit with success thus, exposing my own right shoulder to pitchers.


      • I’m not sure I would use Fred Gladding as my role model for hitting – lol.
        Joaquin Andujar who was a pretty good hitter and an All-American flake would switch hit based on the whim of the day – he might go righty-righty or lefty-lefty or not. Fun memories.


  6. I would rather …

    1. Have the Astros follow the Cardinals’ model, building through the draft, supplementing with free agents and trades, and making tough choices with aging veterans who over-value their age 33-plus years. From your two choices, I guess I’d take the Tampa Bay way. I’d rather be competitive almost all the time instead of having moments of glory followed by years of ineptitude.

    2. D. Qualls wasn’t bad. I’d bring in a guy who is ready to close but hasn’t closed. Miller would be a good choice. I’d rather have Foltynewicz in the mix for the rotation.

    3. B, the mid-level free agents. But I mean MID-LEVEL, not retreads and used-to-be’s. I’m tired of the Jesus Guzmans and Kaz Matsuis.

    4. A. Fowler is a dynamic offensive player … well, for about 120 games a season. Still, his OBP and speed (even if he isn’t stealing bases) is valuable. Put him in left field so his defense isn’t the same liability it is in center.

    5. C. If we can get a third baseman, I’d be happy to have Singleton hit .250-ish and strike about about 8%-12% less than in 2014. That’s still a ton of strikeouts, but it’s more manageable. I’m not sure Oberholtzer needs to “break out.” He just needs a little bit of improvement and some run support.

    6. A. I guess Altuve. If he “only” hit about .315, I guess we could stomach that.

    7. Stay in the AL. You know, on most of these “Would you rather” we have a choice that can actually happen. Not on this one. Houston is an AL team until Bopert is hired as commissioner.

    8. McHugh as Cy Young. With Keuchel coming in second and Springer getting hosed out of the MVP by the biased bi-coastal media picking Trout or someone from the Yankees (spit!) who lead the league in People Magazine covers.

    9. B. Santana. I think Appel and McCullers Jr. are going to be good. Really good.

    10. A. Drop the tandem pitching. I may be one of the few people who likes Tal’s Hill.


  7. Latest word from chron.com (spit!!) is that the Astros are unlikely to get Andrew Miller. Since we were supposedly bidding against the Dodgers and Yankees (spit!) this is not a big surprise.


    • Miller is about to sign a 4yr 40 mil deal, which would be a record for a non-closer. Now his new team may have him close, as I assume the Astros would, but that’s a lot of cheddar for a guy that hasn’t actually done it in the 9th.

      He has also been used very much exclusively in matchup scenarios. Every year of his career as a reliever he has logged much less innings than appearances – and life as a pitcher is a lot easier when your manager looks at a hitters tendencies and understands you are the guy for that mission – you get that out and move on.

      If he closes you can’t be completely sure he can just walk out there and get ANY 3 hitters out. Afterall, he was never impressive as a starter. His success has been as a lefty specialist – and a team will take that opportunity when he starts the 9th to make sure he gets 3 RH batters to face.

      Bottom line – he is a near 30 year old with limited success against RH batters, and is not near worth 40 million.

      My question from all of this Miller talk has been this – what good will signing one FA do for this club? Adding one more better than average piece to a team still far below the mendoza line, while tying up limited resources, is not going to progress the franchise forward. Miller is no answer. I would rather see Folty close, or even Qualls, than Miller. Now I would love to have Miller as my lefty guy – he has obviously been one of the top 2 or 3 lefty relievers in baseball for 3 years now, but at 40 million? No thanks. I’ll stick with Sipp. If we are going to pursue a FA, it needs to be a game changer. Nothing less than a Maeda at this point. A starter or an impact position player. My exception would be at 3B, where I have never been a Dominguez fan and almost just want anyone – as long as they are not a zombie off of walking dead – out there.

      Try and bring back Veras if you can on the cheap, go with Qualls, Sipp, Veras, Fields, and fill it in around that. Neshek would be nice, but I see the price on relievers getting nothing but driven straight up, and Neshek has certainly been inconsistent – even getting put on waivers by the Cards in his recent past because he couldn’t get leftys out at all. Are you really ready to give Neshek 5 mil a year with that history?


      • But – we seen what happens when we throw money at it – Crain and Albers. Even Qualls wasn’t terrible, he still blew 24% of his save opps. You can win an argument with Robertson – I just don’t see us overblowing the reported 4 year, 52 mil offer to return to the Yanks – and I can’t live with Neshek or Miller because of proven ineffeciences that probably would make them overpaid specialists after they lose their closers role. I can’t understand for the life of me how Andrew Miller would get 10 mil a year from anyone, yet here are 3 teams in the running and his agent doing his job.

        One option maybe Romo – if, what was to his standards a down year – comes cheaper because of it. His K rate is and BB rate remained unchanged. There are a lot of smarter guys than us watching tape on this guy, figuring out if time and innings are catching up to him, if there is a mechanical issue, if location has become a problem, what it is, but if you can get him on a team friendly contract (and your scouts give you the thumbs up), say 4 mil with incentives for another 2 – and maybe even a team option for 6 for a second year – its much better than Miller.


      • Romo is a severe flyball pitcher. His HR/FB spiked last year, almost doubling. If he is going to give up a lot of FBs and a lot of those are HRs, it could get really ugly.


      • Yep – goes to show, every reliever, even closers, are relievers for a reason, and almost always their warts end up getting exposed. Investing big money in guys end up injury prone because of the nature of their jobs, and can perform wildly inconsistent based on roles they are asked to fill versus skills sets they have, is a crapshoot.

        Hopefully – IMO – we stick with what we have, and figure out roles and matchups that work better for them, to improve that 4.80 ERA and blown saves issues.


      • They could pick up some help in a trade. If they could get one or two more solid arms in the pen to go with what they have – that might be enough.


    • Steven – Most of us see the bullpen as low hanging fruit for improvement in 2015 – the 4.80 ERA (when 4.38 was the next worse in the AL) the 31 of 56 save opportunities – etc. I don’t care how they get there – they just need to come out of this offseason with a couple more good arms to put out there. It doesn’t have to be Miller or Robertson or Neshek – but it needs to be somebody better than the junk they sent out there for far too many innings last season.


  8. Since none of you folks got it right – I’m going to tell you the right answers!
    OK – in reality I appreciate all the input above – this is kind of a psychological test along with being fun and shows a lot about where each of us fall in life and in fan-dom. So here is how I see it and it is not that far away from most of you.

    1. B. I would pick the Rays model and competitiveness over a couple sparks here and there – though some day I would, like Brian T like to see this morph into the Cardinals model.
    2. C. I have no problem with them bringing in relievers who have never closed before as long as they are not recovering from surgery when you sign them.
    3. A. I’m torn a bit on this, I think it is time to get a high end FA, just to help to legitimize the rebuild – but I am OK if they decide to go mid-level.
    4. A. I would like to see them start the season with Fowler and then trade him at the deadline (if he is still playing at that point and not hung up by a hang nail). I would feel better about this if he was not in CF.
    5. B. I would love to see Jon Singleton show a middle of the lineup bat with a lot less Ks.
    6. A. Altuve probably will regress – but hopefully just a little.
    7. B. No brainer – I would put up with Bud Selig (spit!!) buying the club and renaming them the New Yankees (spit!!) for a WS title (which is just the reverse of my answer to #1 – so I am a hypocrite).
    8. A. I think the Springer MVP would be the best signal of the team being a real contender. Heck, Hinch might get manager of the year if they finish just over .500…..
    9. B. Santana – pitching, pitching, pitching is like location, location, location – it is the key to long term health for an organization especially cheap controllable self developed pitching.
    10. A. Yeah drop the tandem pitching – I’m no fan of Tal’s Hill but I think the tandem may be setting back some of our prospects and might affect who will sign with us and who will go to school.


  9. My answer is (a) – I had rather have an owner that has the funds to seek out better players. Sorry, but this “have interest” is getting very tiresome. I can walk into any new car dealership in Houston with $2,000 and walk out empty handed. Then run to Drellich and say “I tried to buy a new car.” The average salary in MLB last year was over $3 Million. As constructed right now, we have two (2) players that are paid more than that AND we are trying to trade one (or probably both). We have about 13 currently that will make right at the league minimum. I realize that MLB players are way over paid, but that is the poker table where Crane sat down to play. Currently we have the other teams non-tendered guys on the table. That will give us a bunch of NRI for ST – at the cheap. I will quit. Let me go and take 2 more of my green pills. (I think I need to find Bopert’s doctor. Whatever he is taking is obviously working better than my prescription.)


    • I think we would all feel better about the minimum salary guys if there were more of them that were our long term prospects rather than short term suspects. I think we would not mind going cheap on a good chunk of the roster if they were willing to jump in on some folks.
      Yes – there is a big difference between kicking the tires and saying you tried and really being competitive. At this point they could offer the exact same amount as one of the big boys and lose because of the perception of where the team will be in 2015 – but soon it should not matter.


  10. All my answers are predicated on the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros scenario.

    1. a) Success-wise this is similar to the Houston Rockets, and I happily trade off the 2 championships in the 90’s for subsequent extended playoffs non-success.
    2. a) Folty is the closer on the 2017WCHA.
    3. a) No “shoring up”; only acquire pieces for the 2017WCHA.
    4. b) Sign Fowler through 2017.
    5. b) Jon Singleton, the only one of the four with a 2017WCHA ceiling.
    6. a) Jose Altuve can regress and still be the cornerstone of the 2017WCHA.
    7. b) Remain in the American League. (Easy for me, a life-long AL fan.)
    8. a) Have George Springer win the MVP – middle of the order stick for the 2017WCHA.
    9. b) Trade away Domingo Santana. Appel and McCullers Jr. are stud starters on the 2017WCHA.
    10.a) Drop the tandem pitching process in the minors. Still waiting for tangible results.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, Steve, I like your answer to #8 better than mine. I went with vanilla, but you went with Wild Cherry Vanilla. If Springer won the AL MVP, Hinch might be named MOY anyway and then maybe other good players might want to come to Houston.


  11. 1. for me it has to be B. a long term successful run at playoffs every year. BUT with a WS win in there somewhere.
    2. this is gonna have to be a mix between A & D. with the stupid money being thrown at big time FA’s we aren’t gonna get a top of the line FA closer.
    3. well again a mix, of B (bullpen) & C. with i hope a trade for an impact bat in there as well.
    4. for me this is C, although maybe not till the trade deadline.
    5. hands down singleton. he and springer both piling up rbi’s and fingers would be sweet. maybe we would change his name to homerton.
    6. altuve could regress some and still be outstanding
    7. B. give up the return to NL talk – aint happening
    8. ok this is cheating but, lets have all three
    9. gosh i am really waiting for santana to live up to his potential, but out of this list i pick him
    10. i think we have sorted through and know the pitching prospects to the point where we ought to go with a normal major league type of format in the upper minors.
    11. watch and laugh in a couple of years at the organizations being hamstrung by the stupid money they are throwing around this year. (and years past)


    • rj -your point 11 is an excellent point. I think the teams that can build the most with 75% internal players (including prospects traded for from other orgs) will be in the best shape.
      I am not saying our owner should not spend more – I am just saying that having a rock solid foundation based on home grown – like the Cards have is the best financial model.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You mean like the current Atlanta Braves? I keep hoping the Angels succumb to this, but they ran a few rookies out with Mike Trout and the old guys to win the division. Maybe 2015 will be better…


  12. What I have to do with Singleton is slap myself and realize that in 2014 Jon was 4.6 years younger than the average AAA player. My hopes of having a better team blinds me to the fact that Singleton has never faced pitching like he saw in his time with the Astros and, in all fairness, needs to let himself slow the game down and relax. I just have to believe that at age 24 or 25 this guy could become the guy every Astros fan has pictured for years. He can’t get better instantly just because I want him to.
    Grossman and Villar are the same way. None of these guys is a Mike Trout, a phenom. If every player was like Trout, he wouldn’t be considered a phenom. But all three could turn into good MLB ballplayers if they improve like normal young players do at age 25. The sad part of the JD Martinez development is not that he blossomed this past year, but that we didn’t have enough time to offer him to develop, because we torched our team and forced him to spend his formative years in the majors, rather than AAA. Truth be known, Martinez may be the reason the Astros have more patience with Villar than I do.


    • Totally true op – Matt Dominguez is only 3 weeks older than George Springer (though his relative youth will never affect the fact that he can’t run faster than me).


      • By the way the Astros do have a phenom on their team. Hit over .400 at high A at age 20, a MLB All-Star at age 22 and a batting champion at age 24. That is a baseball phenom. We are lucky to have him.


      • Even in the 80’s you would not get an MVP on a 70 win team – but point taken that those were bigger stats back then. He was tremendous last season and never let the pressure of what he was doing (200 hits, chasing Biggio, battling it our for the batting title) effect him.


    • It makes me wonder if JDM cost anyone their job.

      Never been a JDM fan though – and I thought after the first month he had some indicators statistically that showed the fall was coming. Then it never really came. Chalk that as one up for the OTBG.

      Caveat though – that BABIP is unsustainable, even by Tony Gwynn. I don’t think anyone thinks JDM is a .300 hitter though, so the Tigers know what they have. If he hits .265 with 20-25 HR next year I think Detroit will be pleased, and since he is hidden in a lineup of superstars he doesn’t have near the pressure on him that he once had. He can relax, play LF, bat 6th or 7th, and clean up what scraps Carbrera and VMart leave – which isn’t much.


  13. For those of you who are having remorse letting JDM walk, I would point you to the Braves situation with Chris Johnson…….THEY are having a LOT of “buyers remorse”, after tendering him a TON of money last year. Sooooo I expect JDM
    to fall back to earth next season……we’ll see. I’ll try to answer your questions later, Dan.


    • Becky, my remorse is not in letting him walk, but pushing him to the majors before he was ready because of the purge of the team, having him play in the majors when he should have been in the minors and then having him finally mature at age 26, the average age of a AAA player, on another organization’s team.
      I don’t compare JD to CJ because one is a nice guy and level headed, and the other has always been totally streaky and very hot-tempered. CJ might be flaming out because he is the sort of player who goes “boom” and then disappears.


  14. Mariners sign Nelson Cruz. AL home run leader now in AL West. Mariner’s forfeit #19 pick in the draft, moving the ‘Stros supplemental pick up one notch. Contract is 4/57mil.


  15. There are at least 10 teams interested in Brandon Beachy……something yells me the Astros are one of those teams. I’d rather see Medlen.


  16. Has anyone noticed that the OKC AAA team is now the Oklahoma City Dodgers? Announced Dec 3 and there is a new emblem and uniform. The Dodgers are in Oklahoma. I sure hope all their money trickles down. I always wanted to see the Redhawks play but never did. I don’t think I will make it to Fresno.


    • I did not know that was going to be their name. Ironic that the Astros AAA is in the Pacific time zone and the Dodgers AAA is in the Central….


    • 1OP: You probably should go see a game or two. It may be your only chance to see a minor leaguer that is making $5 Million a year. Or worse, it may be a minor league team whose total payroll is higher than some MLB teams.


  17. Dan, are you gearing up for a winter meetings “what they said, what they meant” column? I don’t want to steal your thunder, but reports are JL is particularly happy about our catching depth. There surely will be some good sound bites as he masks intentions and bluffs/lies his way through the week.


    • I have been trying to do them about once a month – so next week I could do a December one – good idea Devin. Yes – I was reading some JL quotes at mlb trade rumors that I had found particularly funny.


      • Yep – saw that also. He Said: ““Because we have three major league catchers, I’ve had clubs inquire about all our catchers quite frankly,” said Luhnow. “So we need to figure out some resolution prior to Opening Day. There’s no urgency.”
        What he meant: “Jeff have you lost your mind. They told me that I actually have four (4) catchers. And I never identified “Catcher” as a position that needed a serious upgrade. None are relief pitchers. ….. HEY, COMPUTER BOYS ! ! !”


      • DanP: We are not picking on you. You are an engineer. This would have been your scenario. What he said: “Because we have three major league catchers, I’ve had clubs inquire about all our catchers quite frankly,” said Luhnow. “So we need to figure out some resolution prior to Opening Day. There’s no urgency.” What he meant to say: “Let’s see we need two catchers. So we have two and add one, then add one, and then carry the -0- we have four catchers. So we need to trade one and then trade one and not carry the -0- and we now have two catcher.” 🙂


  18. Another former Astro catcher has become a MLB manager. Kevin Cash who had a cup of coffee with us a few years ago takes over the Rays’ manager’s spot.


  19. Looks like some real sportswriters have “fat fingers.”
    “Astros GM Jon Daniels talked Winter Meetings with MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Among the topics were rumors surrounding Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This just in: Yankees sign Andrew Miller, $36M for four years. Yikes! However, this likely takes the Yanks out of the running for David Robertson. C’mon Astros, overpay to get your stud closer!


    • Buster Olney reports that the Astros were the high bidder for Miller at 4/$40, but Miller chose less money rather than sign with Houston.
      Say what you want, but I don’t think this is a reflection on the city or our players. Someday people will finally realize that it is the front office that free agents don’t like.
      Check the Luhnow excusers tomorrow. They will blame this on everybody and everything but the Astros front office.


      • Financially it’s a bigger hit to Miller with NY taxes on 50% of his games v. almost 60% in TX. The trade for Gregorius wouldn’t inspire me were I a Yankees (spit!) fan.


      • OP – I don’t think I’m making an excuse – it could be just somebody who thinks they have a better chance of winning a ring with an organization that has won like 27 WS than one that has won 0 and that is not Luhnows fault.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t discount what Andrew Miller also said and meant – he lives in Tampa during the offseason, which is where NYY have their spring training.


      • Kevin, it’s 73 miles from Kissimmee to Tampa or 1.3 hrs in his Lexus that he would drive on his days off. That’s not $4 million dollars worth of driving. The answer is: he would rather play for the Yankees for a ton less money than play for Houston. That’s it. He can BS all he wants but he went to the Yankees and they had $32 mil on the table and when he presented the Astros 4/40 offer to the Yankees they came up to $36 mil and he signed. He admitted all of this in the interview.


      • By your logic, Miller would have still signed with NYY if they stood firm at 4 years for $32. The money was not the only factor. Living where they train was not the only factor either, but I say it contributed. Also, didn’t we move spring training sites further away…like Jupiter?


  21. Rather interesting quote from Miller to Ken Rosenthal: “On the Yankees: “You don’t have to sell me on their plan. I know every year it’s unacceptable for them to do anything but win the World Series. “


  22. I may be a Yankees fan, but this was a stupid signing for them, and the Astros dodged a bullet here. $9 million/year for a guy who has only had success as a lefty specialist and has never closed? I foresee him getting booed like crazy in NY. They must really think they’re going to lose Robertson.

    Here’s something…

    Team A had a slash of .242 /.309/.383. Team ERA of 4.14
    Team B had a slash of .245/.307/.380 Team ERA of 3.75

    Team A is obviously the Astros…and apparently the difference between 70 wins and 84 wins is the bullpen.

    Go all out for Robertson.


  23. Most guys, regardless of the offer, (exception noted) are not going to come and play for the organization with the lowest payroll in the indusrty. There is a credibility factor. I think Robertson also ends up back with the Yankees.


    • Dan, we’re the 4th biggest city in the US. Okay, not quite the 4th largest market, but if hypothetically this club had even a middle of the road budget, which will be about 110 million for the 15th ranked payroll in 2015, then guys would sign here. And at the same time, our farm system could continue to grow prospects into players.


      • I imagine there are several reasons why Miller chose the Yankees (spit!) over the Astros, but I think your analysis is probably the most accurate. Until Crane is willing to substantially increase the payroll and show players we are committed to winning FAs will only come here if we either vastly overpay, or in the case of Albers, Crain and Feldman, have an attachment to the city of Houston. With that being said still plenty of players out there and time to get them.


  24. OK, so here is a really good thing for Astros fans. Yesterday Orbit was named the best mascot in all of sports by the outfit that does that sort of thing. For a sports team this is a big deal. Congratulations to Orbit, to the guy who is Orbit and to the Astros.


  25. Anthony Bass has chosen free agency and left the Astros. Our trade of the first draft choice in last year’s rule V draft gave us 27 innings at a clip of 6.33 era with 7 Ks and 7 walks.


      • I think there are some on both sides of the ledger and many are too early to judge. But the misses always stand out.


    • Let me say this…every GM is going to have some hits or misses, but do you think we would have gotten much more out of the 1st pick in the rule V than we got from Bass? Even if we kept that player it is doubtful he would have had a great impact on the Astros last year and going forward.


      • I will make one final comment on this and leave it alone (at least for now). If all those players OP listed are misses then he is doing much better than most GMs in the league because other teams have had injuries and paid players much more than Luhnow has paid his players and they have not performed up to their salary or expectations. Based upon what he has paid the players have come close to expectations.


    • Also, because I am probably more of a Luhnow apologists than most you can argue his misses haven’t been huge misses. Did we really expect much from Jerome Williams or Kyle Farnsworth? However, the return we got on Colin McHugh and Tony Sipp is far greater than what we expected. Thus, his hits have had a much bigger impact than his misses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rasmussen White Wieland Williams Amador Heras Farthsworth, Ely,Greene Blackley Leblanc,Borchering Perez Ankiel Pena DDowns Bass R Vasquez Cedeno Owens Chambers Hoes Guzman. All of those are his misses. And there are more. And not one of his draft picks have made the majors for us yet.
        Tons of misses. You are so wrong about his misses but you are right about being his apologist. I’ve always given him credit for McHugh but Sipp is very small sample to consider a win.


      • Yes, OP, because much was expected from those players you listed. We have discussed this before, but you keep wanting to overlook how much was spent on those players and what we got in return. That has to be considered. Basically, for the most part, the return was not much different than the expectation. However, McHugh and Sipp far exceeded their expectation, as did Qualls. Keep that passion, though, as it entertaining.


      • Yeah, Tim, being cut by the guy who mistakenly signed them means that they he is leaving it to someone else to determine their future. And what you overlook about those players is that they are who he got and he didn’t go after someone who could contribute, he just got some warm bodies so that his mindless sheep could blame everything on them instead of him. Take your Luhnow Zombie pill and go to work embarrassing yourself in his defense.


      • I know, Dan. It is embarrassing when someone calls a player who has played less than 1 major league season a miss, but this is what happens when you get so advanced in age. 😄


  26. For those that are musical – perhaps a post on “What tune was playing in the Astros’ Office?” And pick a date. For example: 12/4/14, U2- “I Still Haven’t Found What I Am Looking For.”


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