Any questions you may have had previously about Jim Crane putting up the money and any questions about whether Jeff Luhnow could spend it wisely should be out the door for the time being.
Those soothsayers and prognosticators about the Astros’ World Series chances in 2017 look a lot smarter this morning too.
When you see those winners and losers lists later this month or just after the turn of the new year, you’ll see Houston at top, perhaps even in a class by itself. Now, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick may all bomb next year, but they are smart buys and reasonable risks for the foreseeable future.
And the winter is apparently not over.
The Astros — according to Crane — want to add a top pitcher. And, if their recent run on talent isn’t proof they’ll get one, consider that it now appears that Evan Gattis and Collin McHugh are dangling carrots for Luhnow. Gattis, of the high strikeout, low contact genre and McHugh of the innings eater, steady group.
Yes, who wouldn’t want to keep McHugh, but with a #1 start, Dallas Keuchel is pushed to #2 and Lance McCullers Jr. becomes the #3 guy. Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers, Joe Musgrove and even Brad Peacock can battle over the remaining two spots.
We’ll talk more about a potential lineup in the coming days and weeks, but this new version of the Astros could ultimately challenge the Killer B’s lineup or other potent lineups of the past. Adding a true, consistent TOR pitcher would also put the Astros in the driver’s seat for 2017, at least on paper and out of the gate.
Quick questions for this Sunday after the recent moves.
- How do you feel about Crane’s commitment now?
- Luhnow will obviously have to give up something to get a top pitcher in trade. Which two players — and you can’t offer also-rans — would you be okay giving up to get that #1?
- Does Houston still need a Mark Melancon type closer or is the pen good to go as is?
- Other than Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and George Springer, which player would you most hate to trade for said #1 pitcher?
- If Luhnow makes no other moves at all — save a minor free agent or Rule 5 pick — would you be satisfied starting the season with this roster?
- Still, a big question in the back of my mind is what I alluded to in the above piece: Do any of these big signees come to Houston (as others have) and bomb?