Free blog weekend: Notes and remaining priorities


As Christmas approaches, Astros’ fans have already received some early gifts. Still, there are some stocking stuffers and perhaps a few larger surprise gifts — even post-Christmas — that may be under the tree in a few weeks.

After all the dust settled and the cheering quietened down from the double bullpen signings earlier this week, it’s reasonable to conclude the Astros have improved since the end of the season. On paper, at least. In the bullpen, for sure.

But many of the same holes and same ol’ questions remain concerning a daily lineup that may make the difference in an 80-win season or an 88-win season.

Notes to consider.

  • Once Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek are added to the 40-man roster, Houston’s quiver will be full. Only a trade, DFA, outright or other move could clear space to add a free agent.
  • The unusual fact that Houston lost three players in the Rule 5 draft confirms the depth in the system. Hopefully, the astros’ calculating tacticians and numbers geeks are right on Delino Deshields Jr., Jandel Gustave and David Rollins by leaving them unprotected.
  • With the GM meetings, winter meetings and Rule 5 now behind us, the next significant dates are next month when arbitration numbers will be exchanged and hearings scheduled.
  • Jeff Luhnow may be keeping his powder dry on his own arb-eligible players (e.g. Dexter Fowler, Marlin Gonzalez, etc.) until he sorts out the additional free agent market.

The flurry — you may prefer to call it a full-blown storm — of activity in recent weeks isn’t surprising considering the movement in front offices this fall. Will it continue? In all likelihood, yes, if only intermittently between now and the end of the year. Here are some remaining to-do’s on the Astros’ list. We’ll rank them in separate categories: Mandatory. High Priority. Wait and See. It’ll work itself out.

Mandatory.

  • Upgrade the left side! This now seems almost inevitable and no-brainer. Now that the #1 priority (bullpen) has been at least upgraded, the focus must turn to shortstop/third base. Houston simply can not begin the season with a Jonathan Villar/Marwin Gonzalez/Matt Dominguez combination, either on the field or in the lineup. Yes, Gonzalez has been a huge contributor and I’m a fan, but his best “position” is Super Sub. Re-sign him for the Bill Spiers‘ role and let him do his thing. He’ll get 300+ at bats in that valuable role, playing 3B, SS, 2B and OF.

High Priority.

  • Sign Dexter Fowler to a two-or-three year deal. Bring some cost certainty and lineup certainty to the team. You can argue all day which OF position he should play, but clearly he brings value to the lineup and is an asset to the organization. This is one player who should be part of the 2017 nucleus as a veteran. There should be no waiting on this one (see above note).
  • Clear up some of the roster clutter. Catcher and relief pitching are taking up over half the spots and Luhnow needs to prepare for additional movement. Once Neshek and Gregerson are added, those to positions alone will account for 25 spots. It’s nice to have the catching depth and some options for the rotation and bullpen, but will Sam Deduno, Darin Downs, Jake Buchanan, Alex White and others really be around in two months?

Wait and See.

  • First base. Jon Singleton. There’s no urgency here. Especially, if the team adds another bat for the left side of the infield or outfield. Singleton is young (22) and every scout and prognosticator still predicts he’ll hit in big. He’s 22, signed to a team-friendly deal for the next few years and no one is pushing him.Luhnow won’t start to panic here until mid-season. And, you shouldn’t either.
    • Look, if Singleton performs ultimately at even two-thirds of his projected value, he’ll be worth the $2 million per season he’ll get the next few years. Project that as around .260/.340/.490. That would suffice this season if others produce. Plus it gives some players in the pipeline a little more incubation time.
  • The rotation. Bank on it. Luhnow will add to the competition, either through non-roster invites (NRIs) to spring training or by picking up another solid mid-rotation arm through free agency or trade. As deep as the prospects are (remember Mark Appel, Michael Foltynewicz, Josh Hader?), you can never have enough pitching as they say. I’d put the odds at 50/50 that this will not be the rotation on opening day: Dallas Keuchel, Scott Feldman, Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer and Folty/Brad Peacock.

It’ll Work Itself Out.

  • Catcher. The Astros will need catchers in spring training and these four can get solid look-sees. Carlos Corporan, Jason Castro and even Max Stassi may actually have more value after ST begins, when other catchers are moved or hurt. What’s the worst that can happen? Corporan and Stassi start the season at Oklahoma City (wait, Fresno)?
  • The closer situation. Luhnow is apparently still looking at significant bullpen upgrades. Plus, he’s already suggested a strong leaning to bringing back Jose Veras. If you had even one more strong arm to the pen, suddenly, the bullpen has been transformed from the absolute weakest of the areas for Houston into one of the strongest, if not the strongest! At least, on paper. But who closes? New manager A.J. Hinch will have three options at this point — Chad Qualls, Gregerson, Neshek, perhaps Foltynewicz eventually — but none are particularly obvious.

Some thoughts and questions for your consideration…

  • How important is it to bring back Fowler?
  • Would Veras add to the bullpen mix significantly?
  • Here’s a question for you: Domingo Santana is #3 of the Astros’ prospect list. He had a disastrous cup of coffee and showed his potential downside? Will he cash in on his perceived value?
  • Rank the remaining priorities. Here are mine:
    • Left side of the infield.
    • Outfield bat, if not Fowler and no one is added to the left side of the infield.
    • Bullpen (yes, another solid arm would be valuable).
    • Catcher.
    • First base option if Singleton fails.
  • Would you be satisfied with this closing “rotation”: Neshek 7th, Gregerson 8th, Qualls 9th?
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55 comments on “Free blog weekend: Notes and remaining priorities

  1. -I think if you want to try and have a winning record this year it is important to keep Fowler. He is the most obvious leadoff guy. Maybe you try to get value for him at trade deadline.
    -Veras might be valuable but his wildness caused by his delivery is disturbing and right now we might need a guy who can go two innings every other night or so, more than we need a volatile one inning guy.
    -Santana can erase that bad memory forever with a booming year at Fresno. He goes from a youngster to a guy who is the rock of that lineup if he makes up his mind to assert his presence as the leader of that club. He has the tools. He has the confidence of the club by being on the 40-man, while the guy he came up with, DDJ, was not protected and is long gone. He can rule at triple A and force his way to the majors.
    -Top priority is get a third baseman with a plus WAR a decent wrc+ on a two or three year deal. Keep Marwin and Villar on the 25 man to start the season. Villar can play two positions and Marwin can play three.
    – don’t have an option at 1B to Singleton now. Canha was the second player drafted yesterday. Duffy is an option, since he can play third and first and is RH.
    – I would like Fields to win the closer’s job. I mean, come in and take it in spring training. If not, I like your closing rotation.

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  2. Nice work here Chip
    – As far as Fowler goes – he is not a disaster in CF (see the 2013 Astros for that) – we just don’t think he is as good a fielder as the other options out there. I agree with op that the Astro need him this season, especially to shore up the top of the order either leading off or batting 2nd behind Altuve. I think the fact that the Astros did not sign Robertson or Miller to the big bucks increases the chances of Fowler not being traded as Luhnow has more breathing room than he might have.
    – I am fine with Veras returning – but his role will be more for days when one of the top 3 is not available – he would be probably 5th man in the pen behind the top 3 and Sipp. He just needs to come at a reasonable price.
    – Hey Santana basically made his mlb debut at 3 years younger than Springer did this season and George was really ugly early in that debut (.480 OPS in his first 14 games). Santana strikes out too much but so do Springer and Carter and they were positives on the 2014 team. Give the young man a little time.
    – The priorities for me:
    3B
    Relief pitching (need a bit more)
    OF
    5th starter
    SS – though I think Marwin plus Petit plus Villar put up Ok numbers in 2014
    – The back end of the pen order needs to shake out – Maybe 7th Neshek, 8th Qualls, 9th Gregerson????

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  3. I would like to keep Fowler if a) he plays left field where he makes us a better defensive lineup, and b) he can stay healthy enough to be the full-season lead-off hitter which allows Altuve to hit in his natural 2-hole position. We should trade him only if he can bring us a better offensive option at 3B.

    Veras is OK in the bullpen, but I’d like someone with a bigger upside.

    Santana was a disappointment in his short time in the show last year, but he’s still young and has time to get his feet under him and realize his potential. Again, if he can bring a more valuable left-side infielder, trade him.

    I think Chip’s priority list is just about right. We need left-side infield help with some better offensive numbers more than anything else right now.

    Our bullpen now looks much stronger than it has in a long time. But One more arm there could only help.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Starting Pitching is #1 for me. I am not as certain as others seem to be that Keuchel and McHugh will be as successful as they were in 2014. Feldman is a year older and I would not be surprised if he encountered some nagging injuries. I think Obie will be about what we have seen. Peacock is injured and Cosart and Tropeano were traded. Are Appel and Folty ready to carry a significant role? My guess, and it’s just a guess, is “Not quite yet.” Would definitely try to resign Veras. Remember that Qualls was unavailable for a lot of games with “back stiffness” and is another year older. I would give Villar another chance at short and see if he has grown up yet. I also think Matty D could be more like his 2013 self than 2014. His body language (and Castro’s) always gave me the impression that they were just sick of playing and losing. Maybe Hinch can re-invigorate them.

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    • Dallas Keuchel wasn’t relevant at all until his year 25 season, which is Ober’s 2015 season. Ober’s year 24 season in 2014 was actually better than Keuchel’s year 24 season.
      Next year Ober will be pitching his third MLB season, even though he will be one year younger than the average AAA player. We have got to allow him to mature as a pitcher. As long as he has been preparing, he is still younger than most rookies. He has a great chance to get better as a pitcher. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t, but we have to give him his chance. As young as he is, Strom could still find a couple of MPH and some movement by tweeking his delivery some.

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      • Old Pro, I did not mean to imply that I didn’t want Obie in rotation. He is definitely an acceptable starter in my book but that doesn’t change my opinion that we are at least one established starter short.

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  5. Dexter Fowler’s OBP is absolutely non-replaceable, especially against our all-important Division opponents. Last year against the Angels his OBP was .556. Against the Rangers it was .392. Against the A’s it was .352, and even against the pitching-rich Mariners, 2nd in the league in team ERA, it was a healthy .342.

    Dexter also struck out in only about 1/5 of this plate appearances [even less against the Angels, Texas, and Oakland. For our line-up his on base ability is HUGE.

    I for one think we should all PRAY we JL does not trade Dexter Fowler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. A weak hitting club does not improve by subtracting one of it’s best hitters strictly because they want to go cheap. They need to subtract a poor hitter and replace him with a much better one to improve their hitting. All the relief pitching in the world can’t help you if you never get a lead to protect.
      It takes lot’s of improvement to turn the corner from a loser to a winner.

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  6. Lots of good comments so far.
    – don’t forget Fields when talking about the pen. I thought it took him a month or two for the good fastball to show up. Just as in the prior year, he was throwing his best in the second half. Qualms was great, but obviously tired at times. I don’t want to push for the dreaded closer by committee, but we have viable options in the ninth now. I’d sign Veras and try to remove the pressure – everyone can go full out without worrying that they have to be the guy tomorrow (except maybe Sipp).
    – Santana looked great in spring training despite being overpowered by the pitching. The regular season pitching and results showed the game was a little too fast for him. I think he matures and can be a windmill in our lineup who slugs enough to hold a spot. Remember Carter is about to get expensive and may be moved at the break if his value is high enough.
    – How important is Fowler? It all comes down to health. If he and Springer stay in our lineup, the starting pitching will benefit greatly. If he makes it through 2015 without being traded he might be my #1 priority next off season.

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  7. I would clarify my not trading Fowler. I would trade Fowler now if he brought us a piece of this year’s 25 man roster(pitcher or RH hitting 1B/COF) and we used his money to help us sign Chase Headley.

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    • My buddy, we just split the sheet on that one. It is not Headley but the number of years discussed. And don’t see Lowrie as an opinion for multi years for same reason. (But to borrow from Dennis Miller “But then again, I could be wrong.”

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      • I just see Headley as an obvious upgrade. He is looking for 5/65 and that is 13 per year. That is not Matt Kemp type money! If Moran or Ruiz are ready to play in two years Headley will still be affordable if we want to move him. If Headley is out performing his contract we can move him or use Moran or Ruiz at DH or 1B until we are ready to make a move with Headley.
        If Moran turns out to be a better defender, you can play Moran at third and use Headley at DH. Headley as a switch hitter will look good in our lineup in place of Dominguez for at least 2 years and then Luhnow earns his money by doing what is right for the team at that point.

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  8. Nice article and comments. One item about the BP that some have mentioned. A good closer, 8th, 7th etc guy will pitch in about 70-80 games maximum. If we are to win over 80 games – the starters need to finish OR we need another dependable RP out there. These guys can not pitch those 3 innings every night. Some games will be blowouts – either direction – but we need Veras +1 or +2 others along with the current crop. As to the reduction in 40 man – see DanP’s blog of November 18th. Start at the bottom (and include Presley) and start cutting those that are not already gone. There are several in my opinion that will not help get over 81 wins ANY YEAR.

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  9. if we want to win in 2015, Fowler is vital until either Santana or Tucker make him obsolete.

    For the right price, Veras is a good depth piece. Otherwise I’m ready to look elsewhere or give Shirley a chance.

    Santana needs to fix the hole in his swing. But he’s young, so I’d give him some slack.

    #1. Left side of the infield. If Villar AND Dominguez start on opening day, I’ll turn into Bopert.

    #2. Another bullpen arm.

    #3. Trade a catcher. (See #2.)

    #4. Put Singleton on a medium-length leash.

    I’d be happy with this — Neshek 7th, Qualls 8th, Gregerson 9th — with Sipp and Fields mixing in from time to time.

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    • This is exactly how I would handle it as well. Most seem to think we need another OFer, but I think an OF of Springer, Fowler and Marisnick/Grossman/Presley is fine. I simply can’t bear another season of watching Dominguez either K or GIDP with runners on base. Getting another 3B, for me, should be the very next step.

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  10. Fowler really, can’t play with a hang nail . will miss at least 50 games next year, no one was sad to see him leave Denver. If we could get a decent starting corner infielder, awesome. I don’t care if his OBP CPA or whatever is 900, he is not tough, he is not a hustler, he is not a winner, he is not an Astro. BOOM. If we can’t make the right move then LF, dump at trading deadline, hopefully he is not on the 30-60 DL.

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  11. “will Sam Deduno . . . really be around in two months?”

    Good question. Deduno is 31 years old, and has pitched a total of 293.1 major league innings over the course of four seasons. His overall major league ERA is 4.42 and his overall major league WHIP is 1.44. Both are pretty close to his minor league numbers over 8 seasons. He tends to walk a lot of hitters [about one every two innings] and give up a lot of hits [almost a hit per inning on average].

    Okay, so he can spot start, and he’s not quite as much a gas can in relief as Jerome Williams was. Other than that, and the fact that he was available for nothing on the waiver wire last August, does anybody have any idea why he is even on our roster?

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  12. “will . . . Darin Downs . . . really be around in two months”

    Darin is a lefty and a year younger than Sam Deduno. But he went down with a strained right oblique in September, and who knows when and how that will heal.

    Darin has pitched 90.2 major league innings over his three year major league career. His lifetime ERA is 4.76 [higher than Deduno’s] and his lifetime WHIP is 1.335 [a little lower than Deduno’s]. That is accounted for by both a slightly lower walk ratio and a slightly lower hits allowed ratio. In the minors his ERA was lower but not spectacular [4.03] and his WHIP was actually higher.

    Darin has a slight bit more upside than Deduno, mostly because he’s younger and a lefty. He probably won’t be DFA’d. But he’d better show up at ST ready to pitch the best baseball of his life, or he may be offered transportation to Fresno.

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  13. Oldpro – I am struggling with the whole Headley thing. I mean we thought rescuing Jesus Guzman from San Diego was going to jack up his numbers. We (including me) were wrong.
    2012 – Headley had .875 OPS / 31 HR and 115 RBIs – very good numbers.
    In 2009 – 2014 (excluding 2012)
    – His OPS bopped from .700 to .774 – Average to above average
    – His HRs ranged from 11 to 13 and
    – His RBIs ranged from 44 to 64
    Just a reminder that Matty D with two seasons of below average to bad OPS’ still had 21 HR and 77 RBIs and 16 HR and 57 RBIs.

    I know Headley won’t strikeout as much and will walk more – but I’m not sitting here thinking he is going to be some hitting savior —- unless 2012 is who he is, but I’m thinking Headley is who was in the other 5 seasons not what he was in the outlier.

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    • I have been anti-Headley this off season, but after looking like Matty D in SD he put up a good couple months in NY with the highlight being a .371 OBP. He is capable in the girls as well. I think it is more a testament to weakening of the third base position in the steroid testing era that we are supporting the notion he is worth eight figures annually.

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      • Headley would absolutely be an upgrade over Matty D (who wouldn’t), but I am not sure a 5/$65M contract makes him tradeable, especially if he reverts back to the Headley from SD last year.

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  14. “will . . . Jake Buchanan/Alex White really be around in two months”

    Jake is only 25 and a righty, and had much better minor league stats than either Deduno or Downs. His minor league ERA was 3.98 overall and 2.96 in his last year of full-time work at Triple A. He’s not a big strikeout guy but he also does not give up a lot of home runs. It is probably way too early to give up on him after only 35.1 major league innings.

    Alex White, also a righty, is a year older than Jake Buchanan. White came over from Colorado in the Wilton Lopez trade. He had just had some really impressive minor league years [2010 – 2011, at AA and AAA], in which he showed more upside than any of the other pitchers you asked about. But then he had TJ surgery, and when he tried to come back he had a big drop in his fastball velocity, which was not exactly greased lightning before. He pitched a little [63 innings] at OKC last year, and was consistently downright awful. His OKC ERA was 6.60 and his WHIP was 1.71. He gave up more than a hit per inning on average and walked one about every 2 innings. Well over a year after TJ surgery, that is not encouraging.

    Alex has yet to show that he can [a] overcome his injury and [b] be a successful pitcher in the major leagues. If he is still with Houston at ST, I suspect he will be on a very short rope.

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    • Mr. Bill, it was really a general question. The organization can’t go much longer with 21 pitchers and four catchers. Someone will have to go, either through trade or some other form of attrition. I hope White succeeds, he once was a huge prospect with huge upside.

      With Appel showing signs of upward movement, others in the pipeline and the bullpen now forcing players like Folty toward the rotation, several are now on the bubble. Whether it’s White, Deduno, Peacock, Wojo or someone else, it’s a numbers game.

      At the pace Luhnow is moving — or attempting to move — I expect to see a continued shuffle of the roster and, since it’s presently full, someone will have to be moved…one way or the other.

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  15. Fowler does not belong in LF. Here is why. Too many fans are focused on the defensive ability of Marisnick in CF. There is way more to it than that. Marisnick and Grossman are weak links offensively. I don’t think anyone sees either of them getting 550 ABs next year. AJ will need to get them ABs where they are most likely to succeed. So if they are being platooned or just deployed as matchups dictate, that means Grossman plays CF or Fowler gets shifted back to CF when Grossman is in the lineup. Neither one of those options is appealing. So the most advantageous arrangement is to keep Fowler in CF where his defense is adequate and play Marisnick/Grossman in LF. You have a nice stable line up where everyone knows what is expected of them.

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      • But Fowler is a horrid centerfielder. Numbers don’t lie. He needs to play elsewhere, and he’s no right fielder.

        In my opinion, we run Marisnick out to CF for two months hoping between defense and offense he has value. If he does, great. If not, Springer moves to CF and we put either Grossman or Tucker in RF. Maybe Santana if he fixes his swing.

        But Fowler needs to be nothing more than an emergency CFer. Heck, Grossman is a better centerfielder.

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      • IMO CF doesn’t need to be a platoon. I would agree with Flash that Marisnick is an awful choice to play anything everyday given his offensive woes – lots of K’s, few walks, probably have a low average, and pedestrian power. He has speed and defense, great things to bring in off the bench, but if he bats 550 times what is an awful offense will only be worse for it. Stick Springer or Fowler out there and call them the CFer. The middle of the diamond needs to be solid, the same guys out there day in and day out directing the defense.

        I would disagree about Grossman’s potential as a starter, but would agree that he isn’t a perfect solution, and can be wildly inconsistent. If he hits .270 he posts a .350+ OBP though, so if you bat him second he will be standing on first for Carter and Springer a lot more than other options. If the choice is Altuve/Fowler at the top, and you need a bat for the 6-7 spot, Robbie may not be the right choice.

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      • The fact is Dexter suffers most in range. He is just not as fast as Springer and Marisnick. With those guys flanking him it is not a big issue. They will get to the balls in the gaps.

        Seriously, we need to quit obsessing over the whole Fowler in CF thing. As priorities go that is next to last on the list.

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    • Flash and Dan, I think you’ve actually hit on the problem that Luhnow faces. There isn’t an obvious, top-of-the-line outfield made up of players currently on the roster. Sure, you can put together a hodge podge collection of a lineup that even uses a platoon here and there. But if the Astros want to put an everyday lineup out there that consists of three, strong solutions, there just isn’t that mix available…right now.

      It may be why Fowler hasn’t already been extended. It may be why he’s hanging onto Grossman/Marisnick (stop gaps) and it may speak to the continued search for roster upgrades. I like Fowler, but only perhaps he’s the best option Houston has other than Springer. No one wants to get rid of Fowler simply because of the options we currently have or know about. If you could exchange Fowler for a strong right field bat and plant Springer in CF, Luhnow would/should probably do it.

      I say: Stay tuned.

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  16. I want to ditto Mr. Bill above and DanP’s blog of November 18th. We have at least three (3) pitchers that will not help get to 81 wins. We also have two outfielders that are the same (no one above even wants to platoon Presley and Hoes). There still available options other than Veras and LeTroy Hawkins or Romo (not Tony). My best guess is there is still $12-15 Million in the budget and a couple RPs and an infielder can be had for that. No – not the best – but an improvement on what we have. Just not a fan of any 3-4 year deals. And what did JL see in Grossman and Matty D last year that he wanted to lock them up in long term deals? He had to see something that has not been shown on the field as of yet.

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  17. Chip, the title of this post uses the word “priorities,” and I’d like to riff off that for a second.

    I think one thing about the Luhnow Plan is that for the first three years winning was not the priority. Instead, the priorities included “building,” “player development,” and even “saving resources (money) for the future.” Any winning was just seen as icing on the cake. Consequently, this team didn’t see a lot of winning.

    Oh, the organization has seen some winning. How many minor league championships have we won in three years? Two? Three? But I haven’t been a Quad Cities fan since before puberty.

    I love the Houston Astros. And in my opinion, it’s time for the Luhnow Plan to focus on winning.

    People here are talking about what it will take this year to get to 81 wins or 83 wins. Well, 88 wins got the A’s into the playoffs. I want to be in that discussion — that second wild card slot discussion — come mid September.

    We’ve take the first step, signing Gregerson and Neshek. Now we need someone to stand alongside Marwin on the left side of the infield. We need a backup plan if Marisnick and Grossman fail. And maybe that plan needs to bring us a real right fielder with a quality bat. And between Castro, Carter and Conger, we need to be able to fill in for Singleton if he falters while still manning DH, C and 1B.

    But more than anything, we need winning to be the priority starting in 2015.

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  18. Catching up on a Saturday morning with some thoughts on Chase Headley.

    * If he indeed had a 5/65 deal on the table, he would likely have already taken it as many teams/GMs have expressed that’s way out of their range.
    * Headley would be tradeable? He’ll be 31 on May 9, so if he tanks or is just so-so, it would be difficult to unload that $13 million per. Of course, the Astros could front-load a la Scott Feldman or eat contract later if they wanted to trade.
    * Considering the $$$ the Astros would tie up, is Headley really a significant upgrade over a Matt Dominguez entering is year 25 season? You may say “yes”, but remember the key word is “significant”.
    * Money — and less of it — would be better spent on a Jed Lowrie or even another bullpen arm or additional upgrade (over Grossman/Marisnick) in the OF.

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    • I would, without a doubt, rather have Lowrie at 2/$12M over Headley even at 4/$50M. It just seems that Lowrie wants a 3-year contract and I don’t think the Astros want to tie him up that long. Headley is probably a bit of an offensive upgrade over Lowrie, but not enough where I would give him 2 more years and an extra $6M/year to sign him.

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      • Tim, I’d give Lowrie the third year and I believe he’d be more tradeable than a Headley, even at 4/50. Lowrie is more versatile (2B, 3B, SS) than Headley.

        Whoa! Was going to suggest that Lowrie is faster, but that just apparently ain’t so. Is anyone else surprised (okay shocked!) that Lowrie has only 6 — count ’em 6! — stolen bases in his CAREER? SIX! How does that happen? Headley, on the other hand, has 76.

        HECK, big ol’ Chris Carter has 8 in his career! That’s just stupid crazy!

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    • How much do you think it will take to get Headley? I agree with you that if the rumor is true that he was offered 5/$65M he would have signed by now. So, what do you think is his real number?

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      • I really don’t know on Headley. Your 4/50 might be something he’d get. Probably a team like the Yankees could get him for less, since it’s rumored he’d like to go back there. If there is indeed a 5/65 out there, I’d guess the fifth year is an option year and the guaranteed deal may actually be worth your 4/50ish. If Houston wanted him, but wasn’t drooling, Luhnow might could offer the 3/40 (slightly higher AAV) and still be able to stay within some of the payroll parameters.

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  19. Now you’re cooking Astros! I’d *love* to have Hamels in the orange and blue uniform
    next year!! Depends on “who”……they want back. Interesting to say the least.

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  20. OOPS………I gotta take that back. The Astros are on his no trade clause, AND he is owed like 118 million over the next three years. I doubt Crane is willing to take on that kind of debt even IF we were not on Hamels no trade list…………….
    Next?

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