Well, that was interesting.
I have a brother who lives in Phoenix and is a big D-Backs fan. All I heard all week was Tony La Russa this and Tony La Russa that. You’d think La Russa was his prom date.
Seeing the Winter Meetings through the eyes of fans from other teams is interesting. One Philly blog speculated that the fourth player in the deal to get Ken Giles was none other than John Singleton. (It was pitcher Thomas Eschelman.)
My D-Backs loving brother was all in on Zach Greinke. Hey, it’s only money (six years, $206 million). And he boasted of the trade that brought Shelby Miller to the desert. Any suggestion that giving up No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson plus Aaron Blair (D-Backs No. 3 prospect at the time) and outfielder Ender Inciarte would come back to haunt ‘Zona was blasphemy on my part … and met with ridicule when Houston sent four players to Philly for Giles. (“Houston did the same thing, only worse!”)
Well, we’ll see. No amount of me explaining the irrelevance of Brett Oberholtzer, the redundancy in our system of Derek Fisher (Hello Daz and the “other” Tucker!), or how Eschelman projects as a middle innings reliever helped make my case.
Oh well. That’s my brother.
So, how are we all feeling after everyone has boarded their flights out of Nashville international Airport?
Here’s what happened in Astros Land:
1. Luhnow sent Vincent Velasquez (the piece of the deal that hurt), Oberholtzer, Fisher and Eschelman to Philadelphia for five controllable years of closer Ken Giles.
2. Luhnow opened up Jim Crane’s wallet and paid (thank goodness!) Tony Sipp $16 million over three years.
3. And no Astros were harmed in the making of the 2015 Rule V draft.
So my question to you is this: How do you feel after the Winter meetings are done?
I read somewhere that Luhnow’s offseason list included a closer (check) a lefty reliever (check) and a starting pitcher (what?). Do the Astros need another starter? Right now, A.J. Hinch can trot out on successive days (I explained to my brother that Greinke and Miller still didn’t make the D-Backs’ rotation as good as Houston’s, but did he listen? No.) Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Lance McCullers, Mike Fiers and Scott Feldman.
I’ll ask again: Does Houston need another starter?
Before the meetings started, Houston gave away Hank Conger, waived goodbye to Chris Carter and traded Jed Lowrie for a AA reliever (albeit a good one). That pretty much sums up Jeff’s winter.
Is he done? Do we hope the messes at first and third base just sort themselves out with what Houston has on hand? Who would you start at the corners right now?
Anyway, now I’m just waiting on the Hall of Fame vote and praying Jeff Bagwell hits 75 percent.