In all deference to the seminal Clash hit, “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, the Astros are facing an off-season of even more uncertainty. The team’s performance in 2015 has raised the expectation bar for fans and front office alike and there will be many interlocking decisions made that involve Rule 5 protection, budget discretion, lineup improvement, promotions and free agent and trade acquisitions. Depending on path forward philosophy the 2016 team could be far different and even younger than the 2015 version. Who will stay and who will go – indeed!
The list of those who must return is not as long as one might expect for a team that led the AL West for 3/4 the season and came within 6 outs of facing the Blue Jays in the ALCS. In no particular order…
Lance McCullers Jr
These six players form a great core of both everyday players and starting pitching. They performed between solidly and spectacularly in 2015 and they are all under team control for the foreseeable future, though the team may start dangling some longer term contracts in front of a couple of this group soon.
This group comprises those likely to return due to value to the club or due to contracts that restrict their mobility. It would not be a surprise to see anyone listed here packaged off in the off season, but is more likely they start the season in Houston.
This is a hodge podge of players who are probably not easily tradeable or who the team likely wants to see more performance from before deciding their ultimate destination.
If the Price is Right
These are players who the team would be interested in keeping – if they are not priced above their value point.
This will be an interesting area to watch to see the budgetary mindset of the team. Kazmir is likely gone and Sipp may be gone too.
Some of this may be just fan perception and frustration.
Most of this involves inaction by the club – the big question here is whether they will settle arbitration with Carter or Conger for instance and then try and trade them.
One disclaimer – this post was thrown together in a Hill Country hotel with a phone as the only resource – so any obvious omissions were not intentional.
So how do you see these grouping?