As our good buddy astrocolt45 so aptly nailed it, this is the deadest of dead seasons right now. He called it the Cold Stove season.
So, to warm everyone up, here are some scattershot thoughts and interspersed questions as the fire burns low before heating up in 42 days when as Becky points out, the pitchers and catchers report. But who is counting? Folks trying to drum up subjects to write about, that’s who…..
- Are there any major moves left for this front office before spring training? Folks are hoping no prospects head out the door, while hoping the rotation is good enough.
- Is this the best lineup this team has in place since the insanity of opening Ten Run Field in 2000, when the Astros scored 938 runs (5.79 runs per game!!) with three players over 110 RBIs, two over 40 HRs? Having Moises Alou, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Richard Hidalgo, Ken Caminiti, and a catcher combo of Mitch Meluskey and Tony Eusebio (combined 21 HR and 102 RBIs) was about as good as it got. Of course the pitching staff managed to give up more runs than the team scored that year.
- What difference if any will the large change to the field (bye-bye Tal’s Hill – hello shorter HRs to center field) make to the pitching and hitting? In general, not a ton of balls made it on to the Hill every year. However, it has been obvious for a long time that the way the pitchers worked around the short porch of the Crawford’s Boxes in left field was to try to force more balls into the large expanses of center field. Will that change?
- Adding the new bats to the lineup (Josh Reddick, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Nori Aoki, plus full seasons of Alex Bregman and Yulieski Gurriel) would seem to be a no-brainer for improvement if for no other reason than replacing ABs from Jason Castro, Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez, Jake Marisnick and others. The unknown benefit is what it will do for George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa to have a real lineup after them and leading up to them. Pitchers will not be pitching around Correa to get to Beltran; Springer or Altuve will be coming up with more men on base from a much better bottom of the lineup.
- Will Dave Hudgens look like a better hitting coach with professional hitters throughout the lineup? I would suggest that if there are signs he has poisoned any of these hitting wells that he be jettisoned like a Trojan rabbit in a Monty Python sketch.
- Is there any bigger question going into spring training than what the rotation will look like starting the season? Will the injured (Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers) be made whole by an off-season of rest? Will any of the youngsters (Chris Devenski, Joseph Musgrove, Micheal Feliz) earn a rotation spot coming out of spring training? Between Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers and Charlie Morton – who starts, who is in the swing spot, who is traded or cut?
So some quick morsels to munch on today. What do you think?
That 2000 lineup was real nice. But, do you notice that there is no mention of the SS in that lineup? Now, our SS begins the the discussion. In 2000 Spiers opened the year in LF and Berkman wasn’t in the lineup, but would soon be. Bogar was SS. That lineup would soon change with the exits of Alou and Cammy in the next two years. I think this year’s lineup could be as good.
Other thoughts are that the Red Sox, Dodgers and Cubs are better teams than the Astros because of unlimited funds over an unlimited period of time. If the Astros can compete with them for the next five years it will be amazing because those teams spend between 50-100 million dollars more than Houston does every year, and have been doing it for years.
MLB’s biggest flaw is that they don’t have a hard reasonable cap to even the playing field. No cap allows stupid teams like the Dodgers to compete year after year.
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Hey, you mention them, but don’t let the arrogant Red Sox off the hook. The Dodgers may be competing, but have not been in the World Series since winning in 1988! The Red Sox, on the other hand, won in 2004, 2007, and 2013. Because of the epic salary dump from Boston moving Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford to LAD in 2012 I want to make sure we mention them together. The Red Sox used that cost savings to go out and get Mike Napoli, John Lackey, Stephen Drew, Ryan Dempster, and Shane Victorino on free agent contracts with an eight figure annual value. Johnny Gomes also came on board for a paltry sum of $5 million that offseason. That’s five offensive starters and two starting pitchers in the rotation added that offseason. So, I agree…Houston better not blow this window unless Crane finds some investors that want to bring the team salary into the $150-200M range annually.
Thanks for the new content, Dan. We’ve touched on the Astros’ fondness for the all or nothing ball in recent comment threads. It remains to be seen whether Luhnow has remade the lineup with fewer swing-and-miss guys in an effort to have a more even offensive output. Last season in May when Bregman was on a tear at Corpus he was quoted with the following:
“I made a few slight swing adjustments this offseason. In college, I always tried to hit the ball on the ground or on a low line. This year, the pitch that’s middle-in to inside, every time I pull the baseball, I’m trying to pull it either on a line in the gap or in the air. In the past, I never did that. I’ve been using the opposite field for doubles and singles. The opposite field is the average side of the field, and then the power side of the field is to left-center.”
What I want to know is whether this was self-driven or perhaps something the coaches directed him to do. This would allow me to form an answer on bullet’s 2 and 5.
I thought I’d find out some more about Morton. This was one of the articles I found: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/allow-me-to-sell-you-on-charlie-morton/.
The guy went to a lot of trouble, research and even gave us some graphs and stuff.
Then several commenters told us all they know about Morton in five words or less. I thought I was back on spit.com reading some of them.
I want to know whose data we’re using to generate these graphs. I like that he presents a different look fastball than Fiers and McHugh. I also agree with the commenter who mentioned shifting.
But, I think the important takeaway is in the next to last paragraph: “… in his most recent innings, he threw his best-ever stuff, with a new pitch to use against lefties. Given a market so uninspiring, the Astros found themselves a sleeper.”
Well it is basically a high reward / low risk signing. I am still trying to wrap my head around $14 million over two years being piffle, but then again it is not my $14 million.
Reading this – Morton could be:
– A nice pickup
– A guy who breaks down
– A guy who got a bigger fastball at age 32 by putting chemicals in his body
– A guy who hurt his hamstring by throwing harder than his old body could take
– A guy who has figured it out
Morton said the Pirates coaching staff found the flaw in his delivery that was keeping his velocity down and they fixed it and he worked on it all last winter.
Morton tore his hamstring running out a grounder. I remember seeing a video of him writhing on the ground near first base. In the AL he will not run out grounders often. I imagine he will do a lot better job of keeping his hamstrings in shape after this injury.
All I care about is whether he can get our opponents off-balance, off-base, and off-the-scoreboard. That means I will be watching his WHIP and ERA in real games. Until he throws a series of real games, he is just a big $14 gamble.
I think he is both things – a high risk to injury and a career year candidate. The hamstring was just the latest in what has been an injury plagued career.
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For once Bagwell fan – it would be nice to be on the right side of one of these risks – wash out the taste of Russ Ortiz and Mike Hampton Part Deuc decisions of the past.
As to the major moves. A couple years ago, I saw a JL interview. He showed a computer screen which was Green. He said it showed that Veras (I think) was Green and ready to return from the minors. I mentioned that because I think each potential trade is run through the numbers. He will only do it if it turns Green. That is why he is hard to predict. You add or subtract one prospect and the computer changes color.
I want Paulino and Martes in the green!
So, which right-handed hitting outfielder platoons with Josh Reddick?
Teoscar Hernandez…unless it is JFSF
I am guessing that Beltran fills in some for Aoki in left field vs. lefties, leaving the other one – JFSF or Teoscar – to play center, moving Springer back to right? I suspect that Mr. Beltran has seen his last days playing any position other than LF.
I know it’s not my team, but If Springer is in CF and he is playing well in CF, I want to play him in CF.
I know it’s not my team, but I went out and got a switch-hitting DH (because we have sucked at DH since it was invented by Abner Doublecross). That guy is a really good hitter from both sides of the plate, so I’m putting him at DH every night, and If he hits near to what he did last year, I’m a genius and didn’t have to put his 39 year old body in a very hard to play left field (or RH). Hello! I’m paying Carlos Beltran to be DH and not lumber into the corner to field doubles! I want him to be lumbering into second base or home plate all year without injuring him. Forget that fielding! Give me that 33 dbls, 29 HRs and 163 hits from the DH spot this year and I am drinking some champagne, baby! I paid $13 million a year to Reddick to play RF, and by God, he needs to play right field. And if he’s horrible at hitting LH pitchers, I’ll start a minimum wage RFer named Teoscar in RF against lefties and pinch-hit Reddick for him if I need to in the late innings, using Reddick as a defensive sub in the process.
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Reddick’s lifetime slashline vs. lefties is .218/.280/.640. Last year, in limited action vs. lefties, he slashed an ugly .155/.212/.366 vs. southpaws. I don’t think we signed him to face lefties. I certainly hope not.
Agree OP – I hate to see guys shifting positions. I want to see a set lineup.
I think Beltran was signed to DH mostly if not exclusively. It seems the Astros are set in CF and 3B, something they couldn’t say this time last year. I think Reddick was brought here to hit most days – his off days will probably be planned around guys like Hamels not just average lefties.
I would love to see Springer repeat 162 games played this time all in CF. With McCann/Gattis, Correa, Altuve, and Springer we will have arguably the best middle of the field in the bigs, at least offensively – and all with the potential to play 150+ games (combined from the catchers). I think that’s important.
If Aoki remains on this team to play LF, putting Gurriel at 1B, its a really strong lineup on paper. It has injury potential all over it, but I think Bregman, Correa, Altuve, Springer are all guys that have a pretty high percentage of playing most games. As long as Reddick, McCann, and Beltran can all stay north of 120 games and Gattis gives us a lot of games as well, we will be in great shape offensively. Losing even just one of those guys for extended time probably doesn’t hurt too bad, but if the bug strikes 2 of them and an unforeseen problem comes from one of the younger guys like a freak broken bone, it could spell danger by placing one of those guys we are trying to avoid playing regularly back in the lineup.
I have to wonder if they knew they were getting Beltran and Reddick would they have brought in Aoki at 7 mil?
Inevitably someone isn’t going to be what we expect them to be right now. It’s easy to plug in last years numbers to all of them and say greatness is coming, but someone isn’t going to answer last years bell. My guess is Gurriel won’t be as good as we think, Bregman will have some ups and downs, and McCann frustrates us with a growing K rate. Just guesses though, could go completely sideways on those.
I guess its conceivable that Teoscar and JFSF both make the roster. My guess is Hernandez starts at AAA. Marwin does give you the super sub in IF but given his flexibility to also play LF, and Beltrans as well, I think the Astros may look at better hitting options for that 4th spot like White. With Marwin, JFSF, and the off day catcher filling 3 bench spots, and the Astros usually going with 12 pitchers, I think the only spot open on the 25 man to compete for this ST will be filled by the best hitting option they can get. If Gurriel doesn’t definitively win out 1B, he complicates things.
Now none of this addresses those questions in the pitching department…..
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They picked Aoki up on waivers as an arbitration guy. They could have let him go anytime before he signed that one year deal. They settled on a one year-$5.5 mil deal. I think they would love to get one good year out of him and see what he wants to do in 2018. Aoki’s 1.2 WAR last year makes him a steal at that salary. He was leading off last year and I think he could be exceptional value near the bottom of our order, especially if we have the right guy hitting behind him. They had Reddick in the fold before they actually signed Aoki, so I don’t think they got stuck with him. I think they like Aoki. I thinked they liked him a couple of years ago when he was a free agent and signed with the Giants.
Some of my random thoughts on pitching, all based on these guys not being parts in a trade.
*I think the Astros are counting on Keuchel to be their ace. I believe they overdepended on him last season and he screwed up when he was hurt and didn’t tell them. I think they will be careful with him.
*I think Peacock will get a bunch of looks in ST to see if they can possibly use him in their bullpen this year. It’s his last shot with the Astros unless he clears waivers, which I don’t think he will. I believe they have hopes his slider becomes an out pitch.
*I believe LMJ holds the hopes of a deep [playoff run in his arm. That belief is a gamble, because the key to his health might end up being a 93 mph fastball instead of a 95 mph fastball. In other words, he might have to let up in order to stay healthy.
*The Astros need Joe Musgrove to be a MOR starter. It’s as simple as that.
*The Astros need Charlie Morton to be a better pitcher than Mike Fiers from the very outset of ST. That 94+mph fastball and cutter need to be there and need to be better than Fiers’s 89mph fastball and that huge looping curve.
* I think the Astros need to work McHugh harder in ST. Every year he pitches better in late summer and the fall. The guy doesn’t have stamina problems. He’s a notoriously slow starter. Give him more work and rhythm.
*Devenski could start for a lot of teams, but Houston isn’t a lot of teams. But, I get it. He could be huge in our bullpen next year, and we might need somebody fantastic in that bullpen if we don’t trade for another TOR pitcher.
*The Astros still have three guys in their bullpen who can close in Harris, Gregerson and Giles. They also have two more guys who might actually have major league closer stuff in Devo and Feliz.
*Wouldn’t it be ironic as hell if Vince Velasquez was a good starter for the Phillies and Charlie Morton was a success for the Astros in 2017? Who would have seen that two years ago? Baseball is weird!
Just curious: does anyone believe Quintana is [a] a better pitcher, or [b] will perform better for us in 2017, than either Lance McCullers, Jr. or Joe Musgrove? Is it just projected innings – and uncertainty about what Keuchel will do – that makes Quintana a target?
Bill, I think he is a better pitcher than either one of them and his stats back that up. But, it’s not just about this year. Five years from now, all the teams we are battling now and will battle then will have payrolls way over $200 million and we wont!
Therefore, we have to be much more careful, because if we want to compete four years down the road we may need Martes and Musgrove in our rotation and Kyle Tucker in our outfield. If Chicago and Tampa Bay want to take our future stars from us, I would rather see if we can do this ourselves and maybe we strike gold with one of our guys to be an ace in the playoffs. Maybe Martes turns out to have similar stuff to LMJ and we roll with that.
Quintana is good but we could trade the farm for him and he becomes a Shelby Miller for us. I’ve said it before, what good is five years of famine if you give the farm away when good times come. That’s not what we were led to believe Luhnow was about.
Looks like Luhnow is still chasing Quintana…..I assume the White Sox are still not impressed with the haul Luhnow is offering. Musgrove, Martes, Paulino and K. Tucker were the “not impressed haul”. Let some other team give up THEIR 4-5 best prospects. There will be other pitchers to target after the season starts….or we will just have to do with who we have now. George Springer got bit by the love bug, and got engaged over the winter!
Becky, do you have an Mbed in the FO? IMHOISUD. LOL. YFD.
Actually I do! He’s Luhnow’s assistant, Brandon Taubman!
Becky the way I read MLB Trade rumors – The Sox were asking for Musgrove, Martes and Tucker – it did not say what we were offering for Quintana.
I know that Quintana’s record is only 40-40 over the last 4 full years in the majors – but he is doing that for a bad team that has been a combined 68 games under .500 over that time.
He is about to turn 28, you would be committing about $16 million to him over the next two seasons with team options to extend another couple years for $23 million or buyout for $1 million.
He has been very consistent – between 200 and 208 innings over the last 4 seasons, ERAs between 3.20 and 3.51 and WHIP between 1.163 and 1.270.
If you were going to chase someone – this would be a very good pickup, if you don’t totally gut your future.
Quintana is not worth Martes or Musgrove, much less both. He is a better pitcher right now than either, but Musgrove could be better as soon as this year – and at very least should be a healthy innings eater himself – while Martes has a more live arm.
Quintana is a good pitcher. I’ve lobbied for him in the past. When I look at his game logs I see a LOT of 6-7 inning games of 1-2 run ball. He gives you a chance to win a lot. He also has an issue with getting to the 8th, which he saw only 6 times last year, and never saw the 9th – heck he didn’t even get to the 7th as much as you would like a guy too if you are giving that haul. That explains his lack of wins – sometimes you can’t hand a 2-1 lead to a middle reliever in the 6th, it’s not going your way a lot of the times. He seems like a guy that should be a just above .500 pitcher on a good team, like 15-10, which makes him a perfect number 3 on a championship caliber squad – he fits perfectly behind Keuchel and LMJ in that role – but that doesn’t make him worth one guy that could very well be that himself this year and another that is arguably your best prospect.
I see Jimmy Paredes is headed to Japan. This could be dangerous because all of their second basemen are short and subject to being run over.
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I sure hope George is not shuffled around the outfield. He’s one of the best centerfielders in MLB and has never been allowed to play his position.
I’m pretty much sold on not giving up the ranch for Quintana. Let’s see what happens and then make a mid season move. I do believe we’ll want an elite guy for the post season but it’s not essential to have him on April 1.
I also don’t want to see Beltran running around in the outfield.
I would like to see Teoscar have a heck of a spring and take most all of Reddicks at bats against lefties. Reddick can still fill a big role on days he does not start by playing defense late, pinch hitting and running.
I still have high hopes for Gurriel.. I think his play will make it very difficult for White or Reed to get a job on this club, at least until the inevitable injury bug hits somewhere.
I think Bregman picks up where he left off in 2016. He’s going to be a fun kid to watch. He’ll be a Bagwell quality baserunner.
I want McCann and Gattis on the Opening Day roster.
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Good Question, where is Tim?
The Rays weren’t impressed with Luhnow’s offer for Archer either. Musgrove wasn’t mentioned in the group Luhnow offered, and apparently they wanted 7 players for Archer. Didn’t want much did they. I’m growing weary hearing Luhnow trying to trade for another pitcher…….enough already!! Today was my birthday……I lead such a glamorous life, I had my haircut and went to the grocery store!! After the year I’ve had I’m glad to celebrate #68 birthday! I see my oncologist next week…..I will start my third round of chemo the middle of January. Becky⚾
Becky – happy 68th!!!
We want you to celebrate a bunch more of those so we are praying for you big time!!
By the way you don’t read like you are a day over 50 – lol.
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Happy Birthday girlfriend.
Wish you a ton of luck this year.
Thank you Sandy!! We all have to meet up this year for an afternoon game!
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Sorry I missed your birthday, Becky – will do a better job remembering next year.
Happy Birthday, Becky, from the two of us. Praying for you, but also looking forward to continuing our Astros love affair with you for a long time. It has been such a tough year. My wife said at the end of the year that she couldn’t wait to feel good and be ready to enjoy 2017.
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Thank you OP……2016 is not a year your sweet wife or I want to repeat. Your kind words are always so comforting. I sure do like the way our little team is coming into focus! These guys grew up last year, and they know what it takes to take the next step. I still don’t trust Luhnow not to trade the farm for another starting pitcher.
Your biggest fan, Becky⚾
Happy birthday, Becky. I had understood it was a checkup coming in January. Nevertheless, will be thinking of you; I know you don’t look forward to it.
I thought so too………
Happy bday to one of My Chip favorites. Cheers to 30 more!
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Thank you sir! You’re very sweet☺
There are a lot of things to like about Martes. The main one is his stuff. But, running a close second is his age.
Another important asset that comes with his presence in a big trade is the fact that he is not on the 40-man roster, even though he is close to being a major league quality pitcher. A team getting Martes doesn’t have to give up a spot on their roster for him and therefore, doesn’t have to use up an option in sending him down to the minors.
For a team that is rebuilding, that extra year is a big deal.
Martes is a very valuable player to the Astros.
I have an idea that Franklin Perez is going to be a second Frances Martes by this time next season, and that is why I don’t like the idea of trading these guys.
Yeah I agree again OP. Let’s not trade them. We seem to agree on most things applicable to the home team.
I failed to mention Aoki last night. I’m looking forward to his .350 range OBP, likely in the 9th spot. So how many here would still rather see Jake at 9?
I have been clamoring for Archer all winter. However that was way too high a price if Gammons is accurate. Makes one wonder if the other two “prospects” were Altuve and Correa.
And……..we’re back trying to get Quintana. JEEZE LOUISE!!!!
Neither the Sox nor the Rays will be motivated to trade until they are out of it going into the All-Star Break. Unless we want to offer them Altuve, Correa, Bregman, and Musgrove as well as Martes. Tucker, and Paulino, this is an exercise in futility. I wish our FO would just walk away and quit offering ridiculous packages that signal to the other GMs, and our players, that we have no confidence in our home grown talent and have zero skill at negotiating trades.
The one thing I have not heard is what we are offering. I could judge better if I knew what we were willing to give up.
We don’t know any of the inner circle knowledge that is available to the Astros.
What if the Astros have tried to talk to Altuve’s agent about an extension and there is no desire on Altuve’s part to do that?
What if it’s the same thing with Keuchel, leaving Houston with no LH starting pitchers waiting in the wings for when Keuchel becomes a free agent in two years?
How confident are the Astros in LMJ’s health over the long haul?
We wish everything to go the way we want it to with our prospects and our trades, but it rarely does that. Cleveland knocked on the door last year like the Royals did two years prior to that. But the Royals proved how short lived and narrow that doorway is after they broke through. Now they have to try to reboot.
Luhnow may see 2017 as the year we need to go for it, and if that is the case, he is probably going to go get Quintana, opening up 2018 as a second shot, since we only lose Gregerson and Beltran to free agency next year.
Next winter looks to be much deeper in FA options. You only overpay for Archer/Quintana if you are convinced the window closes after this year, you are obsessed with making a deal, or you are an idiot.
I’m still not convinced either belong in the same conversation as Chris Sale. They both have been elevated to it without delivering on field results, and neither has comparable stuff. We missed out…Let’s move on.
Ahem . . . are we talking about the same ‘inner circle’ that traded our last lefty with potential, Josh Hader, with Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana and Adrian Houser for Carlos Gomez? Or the same one who traded Daniel Mengden and Jake Nottingham to a division rival for a 3-month rental of Scott Kazmir? Or the same one who traded Nick Tropeano and Carlos Perez to another division rival for Hank Conger? That ‘inner circle’ does not exactly have a working crystal ball – or a reputation for shrewd trading.
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Yes, the same inner circle who traded all those guys away and have watched them do nothing for the clubs they were traded to. The same inner circle who got Musgrove, Martes and Devenski in trades and could possibly trade them for Quintana. The same inner circle who built the club we have now, that some of us believe is good enough that we don’t need another good pitcher. The same inner circle who built it with half the money other teams have.
EXACTLY Mr. Bill!! But I got chastised by Tim when I pointed out those *great* trades. Mark my words….Luhnow will get either Quintana or Archer before Feb 1st.
And if he does get either one of them……our minor league pitching will be decimated. Daniel Mengden is already making some noise with the A’s, and Hader is going to be a big part of the Brewers rotation this year! And don’t even get me started on Velasquez. Granted, none of them are guaranteed to succeed, but it think Hader, and Velasquez will turn out to be pretty dang good!
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And this is the year that Santana makes his presence known!
I can show you the immediate drop off in stats of almost every single prospect traded, but again – is that what we want to be known of as a trading partner? Sure there are a few like Mentgen and Santana, or how about Zobrist, who’ve done themselves proud, as ultimately it’s the player who is supposed to develop himself (like Straily)..
There’s evidence from prospects that we have the coaching (and they always say, comraderie) to keep our guys here & moving forward. The key however is this “window” we keep talking about, as if it’s truly quantifiable. The window of winning, and the window of opportunity being blocked by the likes of CC and Bregman etc.
My philosophy with the existing roster is to follow the same prescription as last season, and that is to sprinkle-in as many rookies (last year 12) to get them their innings without sacrificing the team/season.
Those names are the exact ones being bandied as trade bait; Teo, Fisher, Reed (White), Paulino, Martes, etc. These are guys who don’t figure in as game-changers this season. Or, don’t they?
The fact is it’s either one, or the other. “Name value” is a misnomer in this regard bc we simply don’t know if Reed’s AAA numbers will ever translate, or whether Paulino will harness his control.
Anytime you’re making a major purchase (a #3 for a haul), it’s best to be ABLE to walk away. From this fan’s perspective, with a little bit of prospect envy, I’m willing to wait-and-see, provided;
1. Players give us an honest assessment of their health, before it’s too late to sub.
2. We get a baseline in ST for where we are.
3. When there’s a seller’s market.
4. When we do more harm than good to our own, who end up feeling like trade bait, e.g., LMJ, Martes, Boras in Altuve’s ear.
I’m in the crowd who wants a better FA crop, and believes (all things equal to bounce backs from our frontline), we are much better equipped to face better pitching. That’s got to be worth the 6+ wins we have to make up… we can figure out the X- factors of the world we need, then.
And on an off-season note – my family was at the Rockets – OKC game Thursday and Mr. Keuchel was there. And then he was at the Texans victory Sunday. Nice to see him supporting the other Houston teams.
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Saturday not Sunday
We traded Domingo Santana for Carlos Gomez. While Carlos Gomez was hitting.210/.272/.594 for us last year, Domingo Santana was hitting .256/.345/.766. I do not personally call slashing .256/.345/.766 ‘doing nothing’ for the club for whom we traded him. But even if someone else does call that ‘doing nothing’, the real problem I see is not what the prospects we gave up did or did not do for the teams we traded them for; it is what the players we gave up so many prospects for did or did not do for us. What our FO did the last year and a half was dump a boatload of good prospects for NOTHING BUT CRAP! So please, no more 4 for 1 or 5 for 1 trades.
The only reason this team stayed above .500 last year were named Altuve, Correa, Springer, Harris, Devenski and in the last few weeks of the season, Bregman – guys from – or who, as in Devenski’s case – were nurtured to maturity by our minor league system. None of those guys came to us via a recent trade by the ‘brain trust’. We haven’t had a veteran we acquired by trade perform at a high level for us in a long, long time. I now expect an immediate drop-off of production – if not total disaster – from every veteran this FO trades for.
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On the other hand, the Astros have never won a World Series and have been in only one and got swept in it. So do we want to just keep doing things to compete or do we want to try to get as good as we possibly can and try to win the World Series?
In my opinion, a rotation of Keuchel, LMJ, Quintana, McHugh, and Morton, with Musgrove and Devenski added to that mix is going to make us a huge favorite to win our division and help us get to the World Series. Anything less than a rotation like that is not going to get us as far.
Not going for everything right now is being timid. And It’s obvious that we have the money to make a trade and add a starting pitcher, or Luhnow would not be trying to get Quintana.
And I did look at every certain free agent starting pitcher for next season and there is not one of them who is going to be near the quality a pitcher as Quintana has been. Any GM who passes up a trade for the one player he thinks can make the difference, because he has made some bad trades in the past, should not be a GM. It is not a job for the faint of heart. It is a job for a guy who can trade volatile stocks and sell luxury cars and raise children and fly space shuttles and who makes mistakes and keep on shooting for the moon every time! I want a GM who makes mistakes, learns from them and keeps trying. I want a GM who makes mistakes, makes some great deals and never gives up trying to win the trophy I have been craving my team to win ever since I was in seventh grade. I don’t want a guy who won’t make a deal because he’s scared to make another mistake.
I read an article on MLB.com the other day that looked at the Quintana situation and concluded that the Astros had the most need and the most to gain of any team in baseball from a Quintana trade and also said we have the most ammunition of any team to get him.
I also saw that MLBTR had a poll of readers yesterday asking them if they thought the Astros should stay put or go after a TOR addition. 65% of the 7700 people who responded said that the Astros needed to go for it.
There are a lot of people who think the Astros are one move away from being great.
Quintana – nor for that matter Archer – are good enough to make a difference. The only pitcher on the market who might have been was Sale, and he is just too weird to have fit in with the ‘Stros even if we had been willing to part with what the Sox wanted for him. His personality is a mix between Carlos Gomez, Cole Hamels, and Barry Zito.
Quintana is just the best pitcher available on the market. That does not mean he is what our team needs b make it ‘great’. He is just this year’s Carlos Gomez.
He is better than Gomez. Gomez had begun his decline. The problem is people are writing about Quintana as if he is in the Cole Hamels / Chris Sale tier of pitchers. Regardless, the comparisons of what we have up v. what we got miss the bigger factor…What was the opportunity cost surrendered? This comes into play in two manners…what might a prospect produce for us down the line and what could we have had instead of the guys out FO got. It’s not as bad as when teams complained after a trade that they had no idea Ed Wade had a player on the market though.