Over the last few seasons, the Astros’ front office under the reign of GM Jeff Luhnow has been very active and fairly unpredictable in their actions. Many of the trades they made seemed to come out of left field with very few whispers ahead of time (the Ken Giles trade being an exception). The players included in the trades have sometimes caught the true fans by surprise as players such as Brett Phillips, Vince Velasquez, Nick Tropeano, Jordan Lyles, Jarred Cosart, Mike Foltynewicz and Mark Appel were all sent packing without a blink by the powers that be.
Which brings us to today’s question. Between the majors and minors for the Astros organization, who are the untouchables? Which players will still be in the organization a year from now no matter what?
A best guess of such a list would contain the following folks….
Carlos Correa – This is the most likely answer to the player who will still be here a decade from now. He is already a leader of the team and their best player after a smidgen more than 1/2 a season.
Dallas Keuchel – The guy is smart and gutty and talented and willing to stay on the mound until he is dragged off on his shield. Would Jeff Luhnow be more afraid of telling Dallas he was traded or the fans?
Jose Altuve – He is a fan favorite, a teammate favorite and the motor that drives the offense forward. Mister 200 (hits) is going nowhere with his team friendly contract.
Lance McCullers Jr. – He came up at a tender age and put up very good numbers while being tested by the fire of a hot pennant race.
Ken Giles – You don’t trade away as many assets as they did for Giles without keeping him around awhile. He is safe.
That is the complete list of major leaguers that are untouchable. Really. No need to debate it. Right? And no, it does not include George Springer or Collin McHugh, though there would have to be significant assets coming to the Astros to pry either of them away.
Oh wait a minute, one more. Pitching Coach Brent Strom.
Moving to the minors…..
A.J. Reed – The guy was a beast last season and he plays a position of need for the Astros
Kyle Tucker – If you give 21 year old 1-1 draftee Mark Appel three crummy years to prove himself unworthy, you have to give the 5th overall pick, 18 year old Tucker at least a couple years, right?
Daz Cameron – He has talent, pedigree with his dad, Mike and youth. He is at this point untouchable.
Joe Musgrove – He was about as good as a pitcher could be last season. The Astros have to think this is one pitching asset they will not move and reportedly turned down moving him in the off-season.
And that is the compete list of minor league untouchables as this front office does not blink at trading most prospects.
What do you think? Who would you add or subtract? Do you think anyone is untouchable or could the right offer dazzle anyone out of your hands?
This is why I am not a GM (and never played one in a movie). What would make a player untouchable to me, is do you have someone in the wings that you think is equal or at least 80-90% as good? That removes all the pitchers you listed. Correa can fill the need at short or 3rd. You need to improve at 3rd, so Bregman, Moran, etc may not be ready. That makes Correa untouchable to me. Finally Altuve. I AM NOT ADVOCATING TRADING HIM. But IF Singleton is untradeable due to his contract, then to me, Altuve is the exact opposite. Due to his contract, you might parlay that into improving the team. Two requirements have to be met. (A) Who is his replacement? If the FO thinks Kemp is ready, or maybe Bregman, then (B) Altuve could be moved for a front line catcher or 1st base or another #1 or #2 or DH. Sort of a Harvey Kuenn for Rocky Colavito argrument.
So my list would be yours, but I would have to entertain looking to improve the team. And the return would have to knock me down (if I were the GM).
Good comments ac45…
I think that this crosses over into an interesting area and an interesting question. Are there any players (Altuve for instance under your example) who are tradeable – who could bring great value in a trade due to talent and friendly contract, but are untouchable because the front office deems them as part of a critical core? Will the front office in their minds say that certain players will be the base for the next 3 seasons or so and are untouchable for that reason?
Untouchables for 2016:
Correa- a top 3 SS for league minimum
Altuve- Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, All Star for $3million age 26
McHugh- Where will I find a proven #2 starting pitcher who is capable of winning 19 games in the regular season and winning his first playoff start on the road against another team’s #1, for league minimum salary?
Keuchel- A left-handed Cy Young winner who agreed to settle in arbitration. Gold at a silver price.
Springer-5 tool major league center fielder at league minimum, with other 2 starting outfielders reaching free agency.
Reed- #1 prospect in the organization who plays the position of biggest need in the organization. A LH first baseman with huge power who has shown a strong tendency to hit for average.
Moran-Valbuena will be a free agent. Moran is going to start at AAA at age 23 at a position of huge need and Fangraphs rates him as the #4 prospect in the organization. A left handed bat who was drafted high because of a beautiful swing and he hit well in 2015 at AA. Had 67 RBIs in only 400 plate appearances, which is fantastic!
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A major upside to Moran is that he displayed opposite field power at CC. I think Luhnow would flip him in a heartbeat for what he perceived to be better value, though, and then go the route of hot stove trade to fill 3B next off season if none of the other candidates look capable.
I have to agree withy you OP and I don’t see many 2B prospects getting 200+hits a year. I do think the future OF Springer Cameron and Tucker Jr could be nice (-: .
I have to think that after trading away a number 1 in Appel, that Bregman is not going anywhere. That being said is Springer an Astro after 2017?
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I think Springer will be an Astro after 2017. They worked hard to get him that fourth year of arbitration. Since the question was about 2016 untouchables I try not to speculate too much beyond that.
Bregman is about as safe as one player can be in 2016 without being on my list, because of Appel/Aiken.
I hope I’m wrong I like Springer, something in my gut tells me Springer is not an Uncle Jeff guy, I could be totally wrong again.
Another reason to love the Houston Astros! http://www.tbo.com/sports/preps/cant-stop-the-chop-mccullers-jr-refuses-to-waste-shot-in-majors-20160211/
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This is the kind of stuff that helps me think we’ve got a real future. And I’m not talking about baseball.
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Those are some great articles. I love reading stuff like that about our team.
Doug Fister has gotten married since this article came out. Wikipedia says he runs 10 miles a day on the days he’s not pitching.
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Springer breaks out this year. He’s certainly an untouchable for me.
I read this and a Beachboys song popped into my head: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”.
1OP, it will be nice!
Old pro both those articles were revealing about Fister and LMJ. We rarely see such depth out of chron.com (spit!!)
I really was impressed about LMJs workout regimen and the fact that Fister is humble enough to do his own remodeling.
There’s a huge gap between sensationalism and journalism.
Hard to speculate past this year, I am sure Mariners fans thought 20 year olds Griffey and Rodriguez were untouchable.
This year, your list is pretty spot on. I think any player that is going to play far above league average for their position at a low salary is untouchable – so Correa, Altuve, Springer, Keuchel, McHugh, LMJ, and even though collectively they are probably one of the more expensive bullpens around, I think you have to keep that pen intact.
I would add rookies Reed and White to the list, like OP says one is the highest rated 1B prospect in the majors for a team that doesn’t have a solid 1B, the other is a tailor made DH that can play either corner in a pinch and just hits everything everywhere he goes. Most of the other minor leaguers are “touchable” to me if it improves the team. I would have to be wowed on Tucker.
I would argue that unless its a trade that brings back another catcher, you really can’t look at moving Castro until you know what you got in at least one of those three young players. I have zero confidence offensively in Stassi, but I do think he could handle the staff defensively. I have more confidence in Heineman offensively to at least hit .250-.260, I just don’t know anything about the guy defensively. Too many question marks – I know Castro has been horrible as a hitter for 2 years now, but at least you know what you are getting and 5 mil isn’t the bank breaker. Ill give him the untouchable .5 rating.
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I should clarify that what I wrote above is who I believe is untouchable to the front office. Personally I would include Springer and McHugh as untouchable but I have feelings that either could be pried away with the right offer.
The bullpen will be an interesting area to watch for possible trades. With Giles on board would they still want to pay the big salary for Neshek if the 7th and 8th innings are being handled by Harris, Sipp, Fields and Gregerson.
Dan, I think we’d have to get another outfielder as part of any deal in return for Springer. We don’t have ready depth in house. And who’s out there in the market with more upside? And who do we have that is ready to give us what Springer can provide over 150 games? With Rasmus and probably Gomez on the way out, Springer anchors the outfield in 2016 and beyond. Trading Springer would create a bigger hole than we’d be filling.
Well Brett Phillips is just about ready to be brought up……oh yeah…..
I don’t see Springer going anywhere this year, now 2017 ???
my list would be keuchel, mchugh, mccullers, giles, altuve, correa, springer – reed, cameron, k tucker, moran, musgrove with strong consideration for bregman, feliz and martes. dan and op already covered the reasons for everybody on my list but feliz and martes and bregman. feldman is on the last year of his contract and fister is also a free agent at the end of the year, if both go that depletes the starting pitching depth we hope to enjoy this year, so feliz and martes may be important going forward and you dont have to give up anything for them. bregman i agree may very well be the focal point of a trade that gets us a top position player or starter, but he looks to be such a talented player i would like to see how he develops and how versatile he might be. he looks to be able to handle more than just short, being capable of 2b, LF and possibly 3b. and from what i have seen, a similar makeup and work ethic to mccullers or correa. why trade that away. to me it would be similar to trading away bagwell because caminiti already had 3b.
thanks for those links to the mccullers and fister stories op, those were great!.
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Concerning the untouchables, Lance McCullers. I keep reading all over the place that he will be on an innings limit. Last year he pitched in 157 innings. That would place him about 39th in innings for AL pitchers. The Big 3, (counting the innings in Milwaukee) had over 180 each. I realize that you need to be ready to go deep in the playoffs, but I just can’t see LMJ losing much time. Has anyone read anything about what that limit might be?
My choice of ‘untouchables’ is based, first, on which position players under age 30 not in their contract year we have that have shown the potential to be among the top 10 in the league at their position, and which pitchers under 30 not in their contract year have the potential to be among the top 20 in the league in their category.
Here is my list of current Astros who I see as meeting that criteria:
Giles [but this is totally prospective, since he hasn’t thrown a pitch at MMP yet]
Everyone else on the major league team could be traded FOR THE RIGHT RETURN; however any trade of an outfielder or a catcher would necessitate us getting a quality player at that position in return.
Here is my list of Astros presently in the minors who I see meeting that criteria.
Everyone else in the minors could be traded FOR THE RIGHT RETURN.
Bill, anyone that comes to mind as a replacement for Springer if he is indeed not an untouchable? I ask you this because I see a guy who put together some very solid numbers last year. A 3.8 WAR is nothing to sneeze at over 102 games for 512K. The guy had to deal with the injury of course. But he was also put in the wrong place in the lineup and after playing his entire life in center, has been shuffled to right field from day one in the majors. And the guy still smiles while playing the game with a certain joy we just don’t see from all that many professional baseball players these days. I’ll say this, I can almost guarantee you that there are several teams out there who would love to make Springer their centerfielder for years to come, hitting third or forth in their line up. And he’ll be an All Star too. I’d hate to see that happen somewhere else than Houston.
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Dave, to me ‘untouchable’ means at no price, under any conditions. Springer’s price would be very, very high. The ‘Right Return’ would be a player who [a] we have more team control over for longer, and [b] has demonstrated the potential to be in the top 10 of all players in the MLB at his position [top 25 if a starting pitcher].
Springer is considered a top 10 RFer in baseball. I would not trade him unless he was included in a package for someone like Jose Fernandez.
I should have added this earlier. How to we justify Kemp, Younger Tucker and Cameron as untouchables and rationalize keeping Springer off that same list? All the kids in the minors are still question marks. Chances are that we’ll be fortunate and one of the three will produce enough in the majors to gain untouchable status someday.
As much as I love George, and want him to stay and stay healthy for a year, he [unlike Correa, Altuve, and Kuechel] has not shown anything close to ‘top 10 at his position’ ability at the MLB level yet. His BA, HRs and RBIs are too low. He hasn’t come close to an All-Star level of performance. Perhaps it is all the injuries. Perhaps it is being shifted to RF instead of his natural position. Perhaps he is just young and slower developing in his hitting than Correa or Altuve. But for whatever reason, while he would be EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE due to his unrealized potential, he’s already played 3 years, and done a little better than league average [and promised more], but he has just not broken into the top tier, so he would not be completely untouchable or off the table if someone wanted to blow our socks off.
The pundits and shredder on MLB Network and MLB Network Radio disagree with you on Springer. They all had him in the top 10 RFers in baseball. Now, if you are lumping all OFers together, then I would agree with you, but he is definitely one of the top 10 RFers today.
Your theory is flawed by expressing Springer has been in the leagues for three years. He came up in 2014 which was two years ago. Considering the amount of time he has lost due to injuries, his “total” stats would be low. Other sites consider him to be in the top 10 and as high as number seven in one.
When I say ‘top 10’ what I am talking is not some sportswriter’s rating system based on perceived potential. What I am talking about is ranking, at the end of the year, in actual categories of statistical performance. If at the end of 2016 his final stats show him ranking in the top 10 of outfielders in the league in 2 or more of BA, OBP, BARISP, 2Bs, HRs, RBIs, Ks per PA, D-WAR and OF assists, he will move to the list of ‘untouchables’ for me.
OFers, yes, you are correct that he is not in the top 10, but RFers he clearly is in the top 10.
Here is the deal with Springer for me. His 162 game average so far in his career would be 94 R / 32 HR / 83 RBI / .354 OBP / .817 OPS
Last season that would have put him Tied for 4th among AL OFs in runs scored, 5th in HR and 7th in RBIs.
If you believe that his injuries (one of which was the same one that sidelined Bagwell a few times) are just bad luck – you have to give him a shot at playing a full season before you cut ties.
Plus he plays with more hustle and joy than anyone since Hunter Pence. That has to count for something.
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Something to think about. We hear a lot about Lancaster as a hitter’s paradise and a pitcher’s nightmare. All of that is true.
But there are other things to consider in Corpus and Fresno. I went back to the box scores of tons of ball games in Corpus and, without fail, the wind in that park was blowing from moderate to severe in from RF or from R to L. That gives RH batters like Brett Phillips a real advantage power-wise over LH batters like Moran and Kemmer and Reed, who had to adjust to hitting the ball to LF.
Now, Fresno is a completely different story. I checked a ton of games in Fresno from last season, and the wind always is blowing out to RF at 7-10 MPH. So guys like Moran, Kemmer and Reed can pull the ball more for results in AAA. That is kind of a nice situation, because Astros minor leaguers face different obstacles at different levels and learn to be versatile.
When they get to MMP they have short porches down each line and no wind, so they can go either way and still get power results.
Way to go 1op, Brett Phillips is a lefty, also. So Vasquez and Teoscar look even weaker now!
great research op.
rj and Mr. Bill – I like your minor league list better than mine. I hope the front office considers more of these propsects untouchable at this point
oldpro – Man we have dedicated fans – thanks for looking up wind direction on minor league games to give us a take. That is something else.
daveb – I really would not touch Springer (I think he was #4 on my ranking of the Astros the other day), I just wonder if the front office feels that way about him the way he is treated in the lineup and in the field.
Sort of what I said earlier not sure he is a Uncle Jeff Guy.
Dan P or anyone who wants to answer: Your comment to 1oldpro sparks me to ask a question that’s been on my mind. Is 1oldpro exactly that? Was he a player? Manager? Whence cometh the wind or whither it goeth confounds the wisest.
Diane, the 1oldpro name came from my realization that I was older than almost any blogger around.
When I was a kid I was very small and fast. I wanted to play football but I couldn’t because I wasn’t allowed to. But I read everything I could find during the season. When baseball came around I read everything I could find and watched every game I could. I played baseball until I was 15 and just wasn’t good enough.
I raised my sons to play, coached them in LL and assistant coached in HS. I read every book on baseball I could find until I went off to college and married my HS sweetheart. From that time on, it was family, church, work, hunting, fishing and golf until my kids started playing. I played a lot of adult softball and coached women’s softball, but baseball was always my sport.
I read everything I can about it and visit other team’s blogs to read what they are doing and thinking.
That’s it. I was a catcher, My boys were catchers and one pitched.
I only made money in golf. The day I had my stroke was the day my interest in golf ended and I only watch the weekend rounds of the Masters, US Open and the British Open.
Baseball is high on my list of things I love. Grandparenting is tops, but those kids spend a lot of time not around, so baseball gets my time. I love everything about the Astros except for their owner, but I don’t let him mess up my love affair with the team that was mine long before it was his.
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I love baseball! Read this: http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160211&content_id=164098360&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp&sid=milb
Thanks for that op – I have a new long shot to pull for and his name is Steve Naemark!
Call me cynical, but I think the value proposition has shifted away from performance and towards control. Luhnow probably listens to offers on anyone but Correa and LMJ on the big league club. He probably considers only Correa untouchable though. For LMJ he would want the Jose Fernandez asking price.
Devin, that’s another good reason why Springer should be on the untouchable list. He’s not a Free Agent until 2021.
Kevin, I understand where you are coming from, but I still want to believe that Luhnow’s goal is to put the best team possible on the field. I think Springer helps him do that.
I just want to make it clear I love everything about Springer except his injury track record so far.. I’m just not sure Jeff does . We will see I guess and it won’t be 2016 anyway.
Devin, I just don’t want to sell Luhnow short on his vision. Pitching-wise, the Astros have six major league starters and their salaries will rise year by year, but at gradual rates, Keuchel gets expensive before McHugh. McHugh gets expensive before Fiers. Fiers gets expensive before LMJ, LMJ gets expensive before Feliz. On and on with the rest. Fill in with a Fister-like addition for a year to plug the gaps and the Astros pitching staff is not expensive until 2022 or so. That is six seasons from now.
Since the Astros have started targeting relievers in the draft, by 2018 you are probably not going to see many more $7million relief free agents on this team. You will see mostly young guys like Giles, Hoyt, Ferrell and Gustave, Guduan and so on. So our relievers are going to make up the most percentage of salaries this year and next and then it will start to go down.
Position- wise, Springer hits arbitration first, and Altuve will hit an extension. Then comes Correa, But if Reed, and Moran and one other from Marisnick, Tucker, White or Kemmer stick with the club and are capable major leaguers, then our payroll doesn’t have to skyrocket for years because we have many years of inexpensive control on all of them.
The whole idea of Luhnow’s plan was to have this kind of minor league development leading to a slow buildup of payroll and not to have to worry about a huge payroll into the 2020s. Blending in rookies down the line like Bregman or Cameron in the late teen’s of the century just keeps the payroll more controllable.
Let’s say Springer wants to walk toward the end of his arbitration. He’s got real value because of his tools and age so he will bring a big return and either Cameron or Tucker is ready to move up and replace him at league minimum in 2019 or 2020 and the cycle continues. Targeting two high rated high school outfielders in the 2015 draft wasn’t an accident. It was part of the plan to keep affordability a distinct possibility when the 2020’s get here.
I’m not sure if we’re agreeing or arguing on this subject. What is telling, I think, is how the (assumed) plan fell apart a bit. Appel was a bust for Luhnow. He likely forecast at a minimum using him in the Fiers role in 2015 if not being ambitious enough to plan on him getting the role Kazmir filled after the trade. There was a pretty hefty price paid to bring both those guys to town in terms of staggering years of control and pay to top prospects.
In retrospect, Appel was not Luhnow’s fault. He didn’t handle Appel well the first year, but Appel’s failures since then were his own fault. Appel is sour.
And we are definitely not arguing. I think Luhnow is very close to having the team he envisioned. He needs a few minor leaguers to finish their development.
I need to let oldpro answer your question about the origins of his oldpro moniker. I can testify that since he has memories of the old days similar to mine that he is old. Whether he played pro, semi-pro or whatever – I just don’t remember. I know a number of the folks who post here have baseball backgrounds in high school, college and the minors (along with Chip being an actual sportswriter when sports writing meant something).
Thanks, Dan. Oldpro ‘splained up above and on top of everything else, or should I say on the ground floor of everything else, he played catcher. That about sums it.
One of the many things I love about baseball is that it is a thinking man’s game. You have to have some semblance of intelligence to understand the intricacies of the game, especially now that advanced metrics has become so prevalent. Baseball is a passion of mine and the only sport I follow all year round. My wife is an amazing woman as she puts up with me and the two boys (we have no daughters) being obsessed with baseball even though she has little interest other than watching her boys play. She knows when baseball season starts we have to plan dinners and nights out around the Astros. 🙂 God bless, her!
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The A’s acquired Kristi Davis from the Brewers for Jacob Nottingham and a minor league pitcher. That improves the A’s for 2016.
Khris, not Kristi. Darn autocorrect.
I thought “she” was in a League of Her Own.
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Interesting! Stearns now has Phillips, Nottingham, Hader, Houser, Carter and Villar.
And Domingo Santana.
The BIG trucks packed with everything the boys will need in Florida pulled out Minute Maid park this afternoon!! My favorite time of the year, because everything is new again! The pitchers get to introduce themselves to the new guys, and the catchers work on the plan behind the plate!! I listen to every spring training game, it gives me a mental picture of how the new kids look! I was never interested in football, maybe because I grew up with my dad and three brothers, we’re such big fans. I chartered the Astros when they were in the NL East, and I guess that’s when I got interested in baseball. My late husband was a HUGE fan, and for 6yrs we had season tickets in the dome. I fell in love with these guys, and good, or bad I will always love them.
As for our 1Old Pro…..I’ve never met you sir, but you have a very special place in my heart. I’ve learned soo much reading your posts along with the rest of you fellas!
I’ll have to hurt someone if the Astros trade Springer. PERIOD.
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Becky, I really was down on Luhnow for years. I didn’t get it (askTim). I never thought going backwards was the way to move forward. But I did see how he was going to build his team. I make lots of mistakes. I’m the guy who thought Blaine Sims would master that knuckleball and befuddle everyone.
This blog has taught me so much about getting along, about respecting other’s opinions, about keeping my mouth shut and mostly, about baseball. I learned how to use a computer on this blog. I learned to not get excited about a prospect until I saw every video I can of them. When I want to find out about somebody like Kemmer, I google them, articles, scouting reports from their HS and college and then watch every video I can find and check them out on social media to see how they think.. Two months after that it is all a blur because I can’t store it all any more in my head. I’ve already formed an opinion so all the numbers just kind of fade away.
When I found out why McCullers had such a down year at Lancaster, because he threw changups constantly to perfect it, I told everybody here about it because with that fastball, that double-speeded curve and then a stout changeup, I knew he was fixing to break out. I think Musgrove, Paulino and Martes are going to keep moving up and will all eventually be productive major league pitchers, probably starters.
I’ve learned a lot from you. I am as excited as you are about the Astros, but you express your love so joyfully. I am glad you are here. I hope you are here a long, long time.
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That’s the plan my friend!!⚾
Baseball America has seven Astros prospects in their spanking new Top 100 baseball prospects.
11. AJ Reed
20. Francis Martes
42. Alex Bregman
61. Kyle Tucker
74. Daz Cameron
83. Joe Musgrove
94. David Paulino
Considering the players we have called up and the players we traded, I think that is incredible
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Appel is not on BA’s Top 100 list.
Yes, and we’re still hiding our future DH from the world!
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By the way, Keith Law of ESPN, recently ranked the Astros’ minor league system 17th, with 4 players in his Top 100 prospects.
Baseball America ranked the Astros minor league system #2, with seven players in the top 100.
Considering there are 100 prospects spread over 30 teams – seven is a super strong number. The Astros don’t have anyone in the top 10, but still – the depth is the strength of the minors.
Two folks of note – Brett Phillips – #57 / Brady Aiken #71
Evan Drellich quotes AJ Hinch in a piece this morning about the Astros and Max Stassi as backup catcher: He’s performed better in the big leagues than even he has in the minor leagues. He’ll get a strong consideration.
I’m not necessarily a fatalist, but when Carlos Correa signed that big money deal with Addidas today, he said something that was scary. He said that this deal would help him make it through the five or six years until he got to free agency.
yeah op i looked that up after i saw your comment. it IS a bit scary. but a couple of things come to mind, first and foremost we have him for those 5 or 6 years and i am sure he was trying to talk up the deal for his sponsor. he does seem to be changing a bit though.
And he is 21. At that age, I was completely worthless. Not much improved, but thank God, I did not get worse.
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If he’s talking about it, he’s thinking about it.
At least it’s out in the open.
You have to think Castro and Springer shared the stories of being low balled by Luhnow with Correa. Also, Bryce Harper basically told the world he is deserving of a $600 million contract. Correa is likely planning go be in the same pay grade as a guy like Harper.
The money part is just part of the game today. When you go back to the article by DanP, all those “untouchables” plus Springer in 2015 made a total of $5 Million +/-. DK got a nice raise. But the rest are stuck down at the bottom. If I sat next to someone and I did my work and 1/2 of his, yet he made 2, 4 or 10 times as much, there would be some resentment. But baseball is “back end loaded” big time today. And in the end, actually it is the fan that ends up having to cough up the funds.
This kind of reminds me of a discussion in the movie Apollo 13 where one of the astronauts thinks that mission control knows they are going to bounce off the atmosphere if/when they get back to earth.
Tom Hanks says there are a 1000 steps that have to happen and we are on step #8.
Yeah Correa could decide to leave but that is a long long time from now.
Correa is a remarkable baseball player at a very young age. He’s astute. That intelligence is not confined to playing shortstop. He’s a capable young man and is fully aware of everything around him. I’m sure he’ll be an excellent businessman too.
I wonder how much it would cost to keep Keuchel, McCullers, Altuve, Springer and Altuve on the same club once all reach free agent status. And maybe throw Reed in there too. And consider other guys that will be arb eligible. We’ll never keep more than a couple of those huge contracts at a time in Houston. So we really have to be fatalistic about it 1OP. It’s just being realistic!
I believe Springer won’t be a FA until after he turns 30. I don’t see the Astros paying him for his declining years. He’s probably gone when he’s a free agent.
Unfortunately, he’ll probably be gone before he hits free agent status. That’s what will be happening to most of our guys as long as we remain with a small market payroll. We’re going to lose guys in their prime. As 1OP notes, the deep farm remains paramount and good returns for guys like Springer will be essential. I know I’m a dinosaur, but I’ll miss not watching some of these guys play most of there careers with the home team.
Dave and Tim, I agree with you. The thing about Correa is that he could turn out to be an MVP type player. If he does, there is a real good chance we could see multiple world series appearances for the Astros in the next six years, considering their low payroll and the ability to fill in from outside, as they aren’t stretched thin money-wise. If that is the case, they could offer Corea his moon and stars in a long term deal and build around him until he is in his early thirties.
The WS appearances will fill MMP and give the Astros the ability to pay him and one or two more big money guys, probably a starting pitcher and an outfielder and keep rotating young players around these three big money players.
This works if Luhnow is the GM and continues his drafting genius to be able to produce 1or 2 major league caliber players from each draft, similar to what he did in St. Louis and here.
If Correa could get a ring and an MVP trophy by his 24th birthday, fall in love with Houston and maybe move his family here and then get a 10/$300 million or more from the Astros, they could afford it and his future and his legacy would be secure.
No matter what the Astros do, I think 2016 is the most important year for the Astros in terms of the future. Correa and LMJ’s sophomore year, Springer’s health, and the developemnt of Feliz, Freeman, Ferrell, Paulino, Martes, Musgrove, Reed, Moran, Bregman, Marisnick, Giles and Heineman will go a long way in determining how good Houston will be in the next five years.
There is a balance that must be struck between retaining the right people and holding on to folks too long. I agree that Correa should be a base piece and they need to continue to develop the youngsters and feed them in to the big club to keep the financial flexibility intact. I hope they raise the payroll as needed, not just to reach some magic number.
Another reason to not trade our top prospects. We are gonna need them.
Even the Chronicle this Tuesday says Astros “must guard against farm becoming fallow.” Just cannot conceive of continuing a pattern of trading off prospects. Unless we’re going to be content with being the Astros of yesteryear.
A player who I think will be added to the Astros 40-man before the rule 5 draft in December: Tommy Shirley.
op – Do you see him as a potential LOOGY or a set up man or a starter? I know he is coming off of an injury season for him, but it felt like they were easing him from the rotation to the ‘pen.
Dan, the chance is greater that he would come in as a reliever, BUT, that may depend on how he performs after having his elbow rebuilt. He had a 93-95 mph fastball and a good change up and worked hard to bring his curve up to major league level. But he had a fastball that would move down in both directions which made him effective against RH batters. If he throws hard and has four pitches, he could still have a chance to be a starting pitcher, especially for the Astros, with that sinker.
The Astros have the same problem in the minors with relievers and starters: not enough good lefties.
So this is how the Astros can do it! http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/katohs-farm-system-rankings/.
With their current team, payroll and years of control. added to the players they have in the minors and draftees to come, they have the players they need in their system. Fangraphs says they have so much depth in their minors that they can feed off of their own system for years.
whew. my goodness look at the angels. 29 out of 30 and not much there. that combined with the salaries they have hung around their neck for years. wow
Do you want to see something really annoying? Look up the complete stat line of the much heralded #1 prospect of the NY Yankees, Aaron Judge for 2015.
Then look up the complete stat line for the #28 ranked prospect of the Houston Astros, Tyler White, for 2015.
They both started the year in AA and finished up in AAA and White is one year older.
Look especially at the Ks and BBs, not to mention the home runs for White, who people say doesn’t have much power, compared to the HRs for Judge, who Reggie Jackson says could be the next Yankee big bomber. Notice who had many more plate appearances.
If Tyler White was in the Yankees organization, he would already be beatified and they would be lining up testamonials for his second miracle.
I’m pleased to have Tyler White to ourselves. All the experts will jump on the bandwagon once he’s started producing at the major league level. I’m good with that.