Though the wheeling and dealing is not likely complete, the Astros’ off-season upgrade has already provided upgrades. Here’s where the team would likely stand if the season started today.
25-man roster. This will change, perhaps by as many as six-plus names by opening day.
- Infield: Jon Singleton, Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie, Matt Dominguez, Marwin Gonzalez, Jonathan Villar.
- Outfield: George Springer, Dexter Fowler, Robbie Grossman, Alex Presley, Jake Marisnick.
- Catcher: Jason Castro, Hank Conger.
- Rotation: Scott Feldman, Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock.
- Bullpen: Chad Qualls, Pat Neshek, Luke Gregerson, Josh Fields, Tony Sipp, Michael Foltynewicz, Kevin Chapman.
Batting order. No matter how it shakes out, new manager A.J. Hinch already has more to work with than his predecessor. Here’s one lineup. You’ll have another and the next guy yet another. By opening day, the names will have changed to protect the innocent.
- Chris Carter.
Players most likely to be traded by spring training.
- Gonzalez. He would be a great super sub, but could be valuable as a trade piece.
- Carlos Corporan. He’s probably packing boxes now. Could stay only if Castro is the goner instead.
- Oberholtzer. If the Astros acquire another starter as rumored, Obie could be gone, especially if the addition is a lefty.
- Peacock. How many times have you heard this name mentioned in connection with the Astros’ rotation. With three slots locked up and other possibilities, it could get crowded.
The remaining lists. If you recall a previous post of priorities, the mandatory item on the checklist was to upgrade the left side. Check. Now, here are some other items still lingering that could be addressed soon.
- Address the Fowler situation. With all the many blockbusters already occuring this winter, it would not be surprising to see the Astros get involved in one.
- Roster clutter. The 40-man is full. There isn’t as much riff-raff as in previous off-seasons, so the decisions will be more challenging. Still, some fat needs to be trimmed.