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Astros get no relief from Andrew Miller


So, Andrew Miller turned down more money from Houston to sign with the Yankees.

Spit!

Oh, he talked about how they train in Tampa which is his home, and money isn’t everything. But what it really came down to is Miller thinks he’s more likely to win a ring with the Bronx Bombers (spit!) than with the H-Town Nine. (Ten, really, since the Astros moved to the DH League.)

But I digress. The big question is this: Training closer to home aside, did Andrew Miller make the right move.

Let’s look and see.

In 2014, the Yankees (spit!) finished 84-78, or 14 games better than the Astros. Of course, New York also had a little luck on its side. The Yankees (spit!) finished seven games over their Pythagorean record of just 77 wins (633 runs scored, 664 runs against), whereas Houston’s 70 wins were right in line with its Pythagorean projection of 71 wins (629 runs scored, 723 runs against).

Obviously, the Astros and Yankees (spit!) had basically the same lame offense. Of course, the offenses in 2014 and the ones in 2015 will be somewhat different. But that’s another discussion for lower on the page. Miller made his decision on past performance, and past performance shows the Yankees (spit!) and Astros have essentially the same average talent on offense.

No, the big difference is in runs given up. New York gave up 59 fewer runs than did the Astros. Astros starters gave up 15 more runs than did Yankees (spit!) starters. Of course, Astros starters pitched 18.1 more innings, so there’s something there. Yankees (spit!) relievers gave up 44 fewer runs, and they did it pitching about 33 more innings. That amounted to a bullpen ERA of 3.70 compared to Houston’s bullpen ERA of 4.80. Miller, though, would be in position to directly affect that difference and tilt it back in Houston’s favor.

So, in the one big difference between the teams, bullpen ERA, it seems the Yankees (spit!) were and continue (for now) to be the better team.

Sure. But what about those offenses? Well, the Yankees (spit!) are looking at an outfield of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Brett Gardner with OPSs of .749, .703 and .776. Both Garner and Ellsbury will start 2015 at age 31. Beltran will be 37, but 38 before we hit May. The Astros, meanwhile, will trot out George Springer (.804), Dexter Fowler (.774) and either Jake Marisnick (.669) or Robbie Grossman (.670). The geezer here is Fowler, who will have just turned over the odometer to 29 when the season starts.

On the infield, as of this moment on the Yankees (spit!) website depth chart, they have Mark Teixeira (34, .711 OPS), Martin Prado (31, .733 OPS), Didi Gregorius (24, .653 OPS) and (gulp!) Alex Rodriguez (a well-rested 39, .771 OPS in 2013). At DH, New York has Houston native Chris Young (31, .683 OPS) while Brian McCann (31, .692 OPS) is their catcher.

Houston’s infield, at this moment, includes Matt Dominguez (25, .586 OPS), Marwin Gonzales (26, .727 OPS), Jose Altuve (24, .830 OPS) and Jon Singleton (23, .620 OPS). At catcher, the Astros have Jason Castro … allegedly … (27, .651 OPS) and Chris Carter (28, .799 OPS).

In total, the Astros put up a slightly higher OPS than did New York last season, but I’m guessing the strike out difference and the fact that the Yankees (spit!) had fewer black holes in their lineup was what allowed them to score a couple of extra runs.

But all those stats aside, which team would you rather pitch for as a closer?

While a bit more consistent, the Yankees (spit!) had no elite hitters like Houston. They have no Jose Altuve. No George Springer. Not even a Chris Carter. Heck, OPS-wise, NY barely has a Dexter Fowler.

And while more consistent, New York’s players are also much older on average. Not one player atop Houston’soffensive depth chart will start the season at even age 30. And Singleton, one of Houston’s worst full-time hitters, will only be 23 on opening day. Chances are he gets better. In fact, several of the Yankees’ (spit!) best hitters are downright ancient. I will eat my hat if A-Rod puts up better numbers in 2015 than he did in 2013. Between Beltran and either Marisnick or Grossman in 2015, I’ll take Marisnick or Grossman. Gregorius’ slick fielding aside, give me MarGo.

Matty D is a bit problematic, but I’d guess he doesn’t start Houston’s season at third. Neither does A-Rod for the Yankees (spit!), but for right now I need to go with who the teams have, not who they hope to acquire. A-Rod, most likely, DHs for the Yankees (spit!) and Young plays elsewhere or is a bench player.

But it all begs the question, did Miller make a huge mistake? I mean, for that extra money he could have brought his family down to Kissimmee for those six weeks and still had money left over.

I won’t even get into the differences in state income tax between Texas and New York or the comparative cost of living.

So, here are my questions:

The Yankees (spit!) are looking at close to $180 million in payroll right now. You literally have to go to their 10th highest paid player right now to find someone who won’t be getting at least $10 million in 2015. If they want to add more players, like say re-signing Chase Headley, that’s going to be at least $12 million more. Headley would allow NY to move A-Rod to DH. Even then, do the Yankees (spit!) have a better offense than the Astros in 2015?

Miller is now stuck with the Yankees (spit!) for four years. Maybe … MAYBE … New York fields a better offense in 2015. But those aging Yankees (spit!) don’t have the pipeline Houston does. The Astros have seven Top-100 prospects. New York, two. Most of their top 10 on MLB grade out at a 50 by the scouts. Houston doesn’t hit a 50 player until Rio Ruiz at No. 9. So, will Miller be regretting his signing in 2016 and beyond?

And what about the money? A million here, a million there. Pretty soon we’re talking about real cash. Plus, state income taxes and the cost of a Manhattan apartment vs. living in Katy. Oh, sure, it’s “The Big Apple,” but that just means when you blow a save, the whole town comes down on you. In Houston, one blown save just raises Bopert’s ire, and he’ll mostly be mad at Luhnow.

All of this makes me wonder, we have the impression that free agents don’t want to sign with the Astros because the team has a recent history of losing. But is that assessment fair?  Are free agents who think that way being short-sighted?

Finally, the Winter Meetings kick off tomorrow. What does Luhnow need to do in order to change the perception of the Astros around the league? Does he need to sign a big free agent? Maybe two middle-sized ones? Does he need to pull off a major trade? What are you hoping to see this week (or soon thereafter)?

Bonus Question: Did I miss any spitting?

 

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About BrianT

Brian Todd is a freelance writer working and living in Rochester, Minn.

92 comments on “Astros get no relief from Andrew Miller

  1. Dan P
    December 7, 2014

    Here is the way I look at it.
    Before missing the playoffs the last 2 seasons the Yanks (spit!!!) were in the playoffs 17 of the last 18 seasons – winning 7 WS in that time. They are coming off 22 straight seasons over .500. They’ve won 27 WS championships all time.
    As in finance past performance is not a promise of future success – but most athletes are going to bet on that past than bet on the come.
    I think the Astros could pass the Yanks in a couple years but they have a lot to prove.

    Like

    • BrianT
      December 7, 2014

      If the team had a name that didn’t make me want to expatriate, would I sign with them? I’ll be honest, it’d be a tough call. The key for me is where do I see them during those four years.

      Take the Astros out of the equation and just look at the Yankees (spit!). This is an old team with a middling (at best) farm system. I see them getting worse, not better. So I’d sign somewhere else.

      Like

    • Tim
      December 7, 2014

      Did I miss 2 WS titles for the Yankees? I only can count 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009 (5 WS wins in the past 18 years).

      Like

      • Dan P
        December 7, 2014

        Sorry I’m on the road using my phone and it’s small screen for research – 7 WS appearances and 5 titles.

        Like

  2. videoidget1
    December 7, 2014

    Long term money and legit chances of not stankin’. A no-brainer.

    Like

    • BrianT
      December 7, 2014

      Uh, the Astros offered more money. As for who will stank, I think that’s a matter of debate.

      Like

      • Kevin
        December 7, 2014

        Yup now it was that team from OKlaDallas i would run for the hills.

        Like

      • videoidget1
        December 7, 2014

        LONG term money. AKA earning potential over the life of their career.

        Like

  3. Kevin
    December 7, 2014

    I dont know “spit”, but it was entertaining.

    Like

  4. Becky
    December 7, 2014

    It’s always about name recognition, and the fact that the Astros didn’t lose over
    a 100 games for the FOURTH year in a row. Heck yeah, if I was a really good
    reliever, I’d take the Yankees (spit…spit…spit) over the Astros! There are probably a TON of guys on the market, who have Houston on their “won’t” go there list.
    Luhnow has a “tiny” budget, and players know that……sooo yeah,
    the Astros have a recognition problem, and that’s a fact.

    Like

    • BrianT
      December 7, 2014

      All that money won’t make NY a better team this year. And unless they somehow manage a major overhaul for 2016, I’m betting Houston is a much better team by then.

      That said, yes, perception is everything. I just think for the length of Miller’s contract, perception is wrong.

      Like

  5. 1oldpro
    December 7, 2014

    Bud Norris is sour grapes of course and because of that nobody takes him seriously in Astroworld. But when the guy says that players talk and that there are real questions about the Astros because of the things Luhnow has done and the way he operates, and then players don’t sign here and we haven’t even come close to a big trade, so far this offseason, maybe Norris is telling the truth. We don’t spend money, we trade guys like Tropeano and Cosart who don’t make any money, but came up in our system. Players don’t just see smoke, they see fire. Houston can’t be looked at as a player friendly environment. It’s pretty simple and I have been saying it for awhile now.

    Like

    • Devin_
      December 7, 2014

      Hence why it is critical Luhnow does something to change that perception.

      Like

  6. astrocolt45
    December 7, 2014

    Brian, interesting and well researched article. But it may have come down to his wife found an apartment with the perfect blue paint in the kitchen. As to what the Astros can do about his decision is realize IT WAS HIS DECISION. They offered the money and he chose to play in the Saliva Free city of NY (Insert Saliva).

    Like

  7. daveb
    December 7, 2014

    Brian, anyway you spin it, Miller took less money, and so would most guys, because the Yankees as an organization have a heck of a lot more credibilty than ours does today.

    Like

    • Becky
      December 7, 2014

      *EXACTLY*.

      Like

    • Tim
      December 8, 2014

      The biggest issue facing the Astros with Luhnow is not his sabermetrics way of evaluating talent. I think he has done well in this area, but the PR disasters that have been primarily his fault may make it difficult to sign veteran players without vastly over paying them.

      Like

  8. Dan P
    December 8, 2014

    Some buzz going around about the Astros chasing reliever Luke Gregerson – very good consistent numbers from this guy. He was originally in the Cards minor leagues – drafted when Luhnow was there and was with Hinch at San Diego.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 8, 2014

      That leads me to a question I posed on Twitter. Would you rather have Robertson, but no other BP additions or 2 pieces like Gregerson and Romo or Neshek? The replies I received were rather split down the middle on which direction they feel is best. For me, I would probably have 2 guys than one, especially considering how bad our BP was last year, but it is not by a wide margin.

      Like

    • Dan P
      December 8, 2014

      If I could get Gregerson and similar like Neshek – I would love that in lieu of just one more arm in the bullpen.

      Like

  9. Dan P
    December 8, 2014

    He would be a very nice addition to the ‘pen at not as insane a price

    Like

  10. 1oldpro
    December 8, 2014

    Looking at your questions in the post, it appears that the teams are similar offensively, but the Yankees have a history of spending money to address positions of need. Thus, Miller might have looked at that as an advantage to being a Yankee..
    The other questions are about Luhnow and it’s time to see if he changes his strategy from the years past and get’s some real fixes for the obvious holes we have everywhere on our roster.

    Like

    • BrianT
      December 8, 2014

      Your point about the Yankees (spit!) throwing money at problems is well taken. But at $180 million already, even the Yankees (spit!) are starting to watch their cash.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 8, 2014

        They may be watching their pennies more closely than before, but they did just sign a reliever for 4/36 who has never closed, the biggest such contract ever. The Astros were trying to get a closer and make a statement, too. The Yankees didn’t have to make a statement, but they spent the money.

        Like

      • BrianT
        December 8, 2014

        Or it really is all about spring training in Tampa. Either way, he didn’t want to come to Houston.

        Like

  11. Becky
    December 8, 2014

    Luhnow was not at the winter meetings yesterday, he is traveling there today from Mexico. The general feeling about the Astros, is the other GM’s are finding it hard
    to judge the intent, and how serious the Astros are in the trade department. Let’s *hope* he can get something done this week, and not trade away the farm to get there.

    Like

    • Flash
      December 8, 2014

      …finding it hard to judge intent…

      Becky where did you read that?

      Like

    • Tim
      December 8, 2014

      I saw it as well. I believe it was a tweet from Evan Drellich or Brian McTaggart.

      Like

  12. Tim
    December 8, 2014

    I was just listening to Chris Russo on MLB Network Radio and the rumor is that the Astros are the mystery team that offered 4/$65M to Chase Headley. This is definitely an over pay, but exactly what the Astros will have to do right now to get quality FAs to sign here. He would be a huge upgrade over Dominguez and allow the Astros to use Morin or Ruiz as a trade chip. In addition, the Astros are rumored to be pursuing Jed Lowrie as a stopgap until Correa is ready.

    Like

    • Kevin
      December 8, 2014

      Wow I want to win, but not sure either of those options and $ get me to thrilled.

      Like

    • Devin_
      December 8, 2014

      What am I missing here? Headley brings negative defense and marginal improvement on offense v. Matt Dominguez. He is already 30. He’s probably a better runner, I guess. I’d rather run Villar / Marwin / Petit as a SS / 3B rotation than pay $16.25 million per year to Headley. I would even prefer Jed Lowrie for 3B over that contract for CH.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 8, 2014

        If we are serious about upgrading on the left side, Headley/Lowrie is a serious upgrade over Dominguez/Villar and you still have Marwin to back up both slots. Hello! Let’s get better! It’s not our Money! Hello!

        Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2014

        I wouldn’t say marginal improvement. He draws many more BBs than Dominguez, which is a stat JL loves an never hit below .250 other than last year. It is a definite over pay, but it is a sizable upgrade from Dominguez.

        Like

      • BrianT
        December 8, 2014

        I’d sign one or the other and still get Romo. Lowrie a SS, MarGo 3B. Or MarGo at SS and Headley at 3B.

        Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 8, 2014

      Thanks for the info, Tim.

      Like

  13. Tim
    December 8, 2014

    Marc Krauss is no longer an Astro. He was claimed off waivers by LAA.

    Like

    • Kevin
      December 8, 2014

      horray

      Like

    • Flash
      December 8, 2014

      What’s that?! A smart, expensive free agent signing, OTBT picking through the rummage sale of the worst organization in the history of team sports?

      That is incredulous!

      Like

      • rj
        December 8, 2014

        ok I’m old. what does OTBT mean???

        Like

      • Flash
        December 8, 2014

        Old Time Baseball Team. They have a lot of OTBGs in the front office.

        Like

  14. Zanuda
    December 8, 2014

    Is Luhnow now going to do a deal just to say “hey we made a deal” ? I sure hope not. I, like everybody else (or so I think) would reather wait another year with some improvement rather than trade away the farm for what might be. We’ve already been down that road and it goes nowhere. I can wait another year, can you?

    Like

  15. Dan P
    December 8, 2014

    I would be OK with them chasing Gregerson.
    I think they could buy Lowrie at a low point.
    I can’t believe they would give Headley that much – he had one great year with the Padres and mostly mediocre mush otherwise (though better than Matty D).

    Like

  16. astrocolt45
    December 8, 2014

    I am not arguing placing Krauss on waivers, but would like a better understanding. Can someone help? The Astros are not at the 40 man limit. And he could have been invited to ST. And he could be optioned out. Just do not understand why he would be on waivers now. What caused him to be placed now or has he been on waivers for weeks perhaps.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 8, 2014

      I believe it just happened as he was on the 40-man roster when the deadline arrived. It sounds like something is about to go down with a player acquisition (or two) and a spot needed to be opened up. This is my educated guess.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 8, 2014

      If they do a FA signing they have to have room BEFORE they sign and the same holds true for a rule 5 draftee. If Kraus was the 39th guy he would have to be released and clear waivers. This is a no brainer. If he clears he could still be offered a minor league deal. A lot of bad teams passed on Kraus before he made it to the Angels. His major league line: .200/.271/.361. And his defense: oh boy!.

      Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2014

        If he was going to get claimed it makes sense that it was an AL team. He is, as you mentioned, horrible on defense, but if he can get to where he was in the minors could be an option at DH with an occassional start at 1B.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Becky
    December 8, 2014

    If Luhnow signs Jed Lowrie, let’s hope he leaves his smart a$$ attitude in California………

    Like

    • Kevin
      December 8, 2014

      Didn’t Lowrie throw the Astro’s under the bus once he left town?

      Like

      • Becky
        December 8, 2014

        YES……………..he *did*.

        Like

  18. rj
    December 8, 2014

    i don’t like bringing in Lowrie or Headley. We have a SS in a year or less. We don’t need to pay crazy money for Headley. Reasonable money well maybe ok but not 4 years for 65 million. seems like 16 million a year would get you some of that pitching help we are after.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 8, 2014

      The problem is the Astros aren’t getting him or any other notable FA with a reasonable offer. Remember what the Nats gave Jason Werth? We are in a similar position. We will have to over pay, but look on the bright side…the contract is half of what the Nats gave Werth. 😄

      Like

      • Steeeve
        December 8, 2014

        Agree. We will need to throw crazy money at notable FA’s to induce them to come here. And, we need to to legitimize the organization. However, why not fill a need with a player on the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros? That does not describe Jed Lowrie, that does not describe Chase Headley. That does describe David Robertson.

        Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2014

        Oh, I would rather have Robertson, Gregerson and Lowrie than just Headley and Lowrie. They will need to go to either 4/$50M on Robertson or add a 5th year to get him. I am skeptical going 5 years on a closer or any other reliever.

        Like

  19. 1oldpro
    December 8, 2014

    He delivered a carefully worded message about analytically driven systems not accounting for personalities or human intangibles in baseball players. It was discussed again today in the comment section of a posting about Lowrie in TCB, if you want the quotes

    Like

    • Flash
      December 8, 2014

      Analytically driven systems aren’t very kind to him.

      Like

      • Tim
        December 8, 2014

        Who are we talking about here?

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 8, 2014

        Jed Lowrie

        Like

  20. astrocolt45
    December 8, 2014

    Now ESPN reports that the Astros not only offered more money to Miller but a 5th year option. Talk about kicking somebody when they are down.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 9, 2014

      I think it was a team option so that wouldn’t provide any security to Andrew Miller.

      Like

  21. Devin_
    December 8, 2014

    Free agency is not the only avenue for filling positions of need. Giving Chase Headley $16 million per year, or roughly 25% of our max budget IF Crane authorizes the increase, is silly. If you’re that intent on replacing an infield spot then I’d start talking about Ryan Zimmerman or Alexei Ramirez.

    A bullpen of Gregerson, Fields, and Qualls sounds much more appealing to me than Robertson, Fields, and Qualls.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 8, 2014

      I think I would rather have Robertson over Gregerson, but would take Gregerson and Neskek over Robertson.

      Like

  22. BrianT
    December 8, 2014

    I still think Plouffe would make a good trade target. I’m sure the Twins want the world in return for him, but really, if the A’s can trade Brandon Moss and only get a AA middle infielder in return, I think Plouffe and his hurt hip might be worth DDJ and some random pitcher.

    Like

  23. BrianT
    December 8, 2014

    Although, I’m getting tired of the breathless stories from McTaggert and Dreilich (sp?) saying “Luhnow plans to make a move” and “Any moment now, we swear, deals will be done” and “Luhnow just … oh, wait, he sneezed” and the like.

    I’m ready. Make someone an offer, Jeff. Get something done.

    Like

    • Flash
      December 9, 2014

      First of all, Dreilich and McTaggart are probably throwing darts at the wall (See reporting of 40 man roster moves). Luhnow has been very aggressive in making offers, just none have been accepted. Fro all of the talk of Crane and Luhnow being cheap, the offers to Miller and Headley are pretty generous.

      Like

  24. Tim
    December 8, 2014

    There is an interesting article in the NY Daily News today about the Astros being a problem for the Yankees this offseason and why Luhnow is being so aggressive in FA. Essentially, the article implies this is a make or break year for Luhnow and that Crane leans on Biggio and Nolan Ryan for their opinion. It states that Crane is growing leery of Luhnow. It implies that if there isn’t a big improvement this year JL may be gone. It was a very good read, but not sure how much of it is accurate.

    Like

  25. 1oldpro
    December 8, 2014

    It’s 11:40 pm Houston time on Monday. David Robertson just signed 4/40+ with the White Sox.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 9, 2014

      4 years/$46million

      Like

  26. 1oldpro
    December 8, 2014

    Off topic, but I imagine one of the things the Astros would like to accomplish in SD this week is to find a manager for the loaded Corpus Christi Hooks. There is a lot of talent that is going to be there from the get go.

    Like

  27. Becky
    December 9, 2014

    The White Sox are kicking b#tt and taking names! And now the Braves are packaging Chris Johnson with any Upton trade! I find this most entertaining.:)

    Like

    • Devin_
      December 9, 2014

      Becky, are you implying that CJ enhances the deal or is forced upon the other party? I read a number of articles saying many execs see Upton as the bigger talent than Heyward, but that they didn’t think Atl could get as much as they got from Stl. To me, adding in CJ and his contract would reduce how much real talent I would be willing to deal.

      Like

  28. Becky
    December 9, 2014

    Tim- just read the article you were referring to……….it appears the Astros are toxic right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised at anything Crane does with Luhnow right now. Crane wants to win, but he won’t spend to get there. Oh well………..

    Like

    • Tim
      December 9, 2014

      I will say this about Luhnow…I like the sabermetrics way of evaluating talent, but it might be time for him to go. He has burned too many bridges in this industry and I think Nolan would make a refreshing change, assuming he is the replacement for JL, and has much respect in baseball.

      Like

  29. Billy Castillo
    December 9, 2014

    Robertson signed with the White Sox. Do SOMETHING Luhnow.

    Like

  30. astrocolt45
    December 9, 2014

    I am wearing those “rose colored glasses” that I bought on line, but I hope the Astros lose out on Headley also. This team is NOT one player short. They need to find 2-3-4 possible improvements and spend the money. If they were willing to spend another $50Million this year – then spend $10 on one player. But if we learned anything last year – it was Crain or Albers can look good and then go on the DL. If they did find 3 or 4 “average+” MLBers – that to me makes more sense that spending ALL of the money on one guy (or even 1/2 of it).

    Like

    • Tim
      December 9, 2014

      If they sign Headley I can’t imagine they are done or they will not be improved much from last year. Now, if they sign Headley and Gregerson, trade for another reliever and sign Lowrie then we are improved. Let’s see how it plays out.

      Like

  31. Tim
    December 9, 2014

    I know Crane said the payroll would increase by $20M, but from the alleged offers Luhnow is making it appears Crane is willing to increase the budget more. Of course, trading Fowler is always a possibility to help offset the payroll increase from FA signings, but I don’t think Luhnow is going to trade him unless he gets another major league ready player back.

    Like

  32. Steeeve
    December 9, 2014

    David Robertson gone. Sigh. Not sure if there are any FA’s left who could legitimize the Astros. It does sound like Luhnow is trying, but he’s got both hands tied behind his back. Maybe it’s time to adopt the Detroit Tiger model and trade prospects for legitimate pieces, but no evidence that Luhnow has the magic touch of Dave Dombrowski.

    Like

  33. Dan P
    December 9, 2014

    Like in the previous post – there are still a lot of legitimate players out there to sign – but I sure would rather sign Gregerson and Neshek say than Headley at what was reported.

    Like

    • Devin_
      December 9, 2014

      I agree with you and daveb. We need to stick to the Chipalatta mantra: add 1-2 legit major leaguers each year. We should append “without losing anyone vital” to that, though.

      Just to play devil’s advocate, what if we had seen 155 games from George Springer last year? I don’t think it is outrageous to suggest we finish 5 games higher in the standings. I don’t think it is outrageous to suggest he passes Abreu in HR total, but falls short in Avg/RBI. Although he likely sets a league mark for K’s, I think the off season conversation from prospective free agents would have been much different.

      Like

  34. daveb
    December 9, 2014

    Signing one guy for 15 or even 20 million a year here is not the answer. As discussed previously, most guys in that position will say thanks but no thanks. Without a credible payroll, one big free agent signing will most likely not happen. Baseball players want good working conditions just like the rest of us. And like us, they also want to work for a a good, stable, well respected, relevant organization. If a guy signs up for 25 or 30% of our payroll, he’s got a bunch of pressure on him to have a major impact. Again, if we get the payroll up to MLB average, in the 110 million range, then players, agents and other owner will take us seriously. Maybe even the fans.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. 1oldpro
    December 9, 2014

    The Astros have not gotten rid of one piece that got them to 70 wins last year with Bo Porter as manager. So I believe having Springer back in the lineup helps them get over 70 wins.
    With Fowler in LF, Marisnick in CF, and Springer in RF they have a good well rounded offense there and a terrific defense. They have Grossman and Pressley to back up. They have Singleton and Altuve and Marwin and Castro around the infield, which means they need to find an average 3B to replace the worst 3B in the league. That gives them improvement there.
    They need to add two bullpen arms to the decent bullpen arms they had to finish the season. That would be an improvement there.
    They need Carter to be the player he was for 162 games last year but doing it overall and not ice cold in the beginning and red hot when it doesn’t matter. That would be an improvement over the first three months.
    We need the same four starters we have and one of Wojo, White, or Folty or a pickup and claim #5 starter role. That would be an improvement over what we had at #5 last year.
    We can get better without spending a fortune now and try to stabilize our reputation, have a good draft, get our prospects up to AAA in 2015.
    What has happened so far in the offseason is the result of bad management in the past three years. We can right the ship by staying the course, improving our image, relating better to our prospects, drafting well and not making huge PR blunders. Luhnow has 2015 left to do this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • daveb
      December 9, 2014

      With Luhnow’s vote of confidence from Crane, he might be safe until the All Star break in 2015. Has anyone ever fired their GM midway through the season?

      Like

  36. Tim
    December 9, 2014

    Dave Robertson.received a limited no-trade clause in his contract allowing him to block trades to 5 teams. I will bet the Astros are one of those five teams.

    Like

  37. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    December 9, 2014

    I’m a day late on this discussion but I didn’t see anybody mention the value of endorsement contracts. With Astros reputation, I would be fairly certain that a player can get more lucrative endorsement contracts if playing for the Not Astros.

    Like

    • daveb
      December 9, 2014

      That’s a fair point Nancy.

      Separately, I just can’t imagine any discussion of Headley, and his likely .700 OPS, or Lowrie, with his own .700 something OPS being potential answers at third. I’m certainly a proponent for spending 110 million on payroll, but not in an assinine (sp?) way. I think we could get Sclafani to do that, assuming he won’t butcher the job defensively. And at the same time, Marwin, who I have never been a fan of, will play steady D at short, and post better offensive numbers at short than most starting MLB shortstops. Look it up.

      Like

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This entry was posted on December 7, 2014 by in Astros.
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