Astros 2015-2018: The “Core Four”


Our good buddy on the blog Old Pro came up with a challenge for this writer to discuss what he called the “Core Four”: The four players the Astros would build around after the 2015 season through the 2018 season.

This is a tougher question then it would seem as players go up and down from year to year and some of it is deeply tied to what does “build around” mean. In other words are these the people already secured for a number of years (Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman) or ones you would like to secure for a number of years (Gerrit Cole, Ryan Pressly)? And if ones already secured….for how long? The criteria here will be – players who are signed or under control for at least 2 additional years beyond the season being discussed.

Astros 2015

The top-performing players (or players with potential) put up numbers as follows:

  • Dallas Keuchel – Cy Young winner – 20-8 record, 2.48 ERA, 1.017 WHIP over 232 IP
  • Collin McHugh – 19-7, 3.89 ERA, 1.277 WHIP over 203.2 IP
  • Lance McCullers Jr. – 6-7, 3.22 ERA, 1.186 WHIP over 125.2 IP
  • Luke Gregerson – 7-3, 31 Saves, 3.10 ERA, 0.951 WHIP
  • Carlos Correa – in 99 games – 52 runs, 22 HR, 68 RBIs 14 for 18 SBs, .279 BA/.345 OBP/ .857 OPS – Rookie of the Year
  • George Springer in 102 games – 59 HRs, 16 HRs, 41 RBIs, 16 for 20 SBs, .276 BA/ .367 OBP/ .826 OPS
  • Jose Altuve – 86 runs, 15 HRs, 66 RBIs, 38 for 51 SBs, .313 BA/ .353 OBP/ .812 OPS
  • Evan Gattis – 66 runs, 27 HRs, 88 RBIs, .246 BA/ .285 OBP/ .748 OPS

2015 Core Four. It would be hard to argue with Keuchel and McHugh being two of the four as they were the workhorses of the pitching staff. DK had by far the greater season and McHugh probably pitched in better luck, but 39 wins at unbelievable prices with multiple years of club control all yelled “Yes, Core”. Number 3 had to be Rookie of the Year Correa, who had a terrific debut with a lot of promise for the future. Although Springer (I had to blink when I saw his 16 for 20 SBs), Gattis and Gregerson were decent and McCullers showed a lot in his debut, the fourth core member had to be Altuve with stats that were getting ready to take off.

Astros 2016

The top-performing players (or players with potential) put up numbers as follows:

  • McCullers Jr – 6-5, 3.22 ERA, 1.543 WHIP, 11.8 K/ 9 IP in 81 IP
  • Chris Devenski – 4-4, 1 Save, 2.16 ERA, 0.914 WHIP in 108.1 IP
  • Altuve – 108 runs, 214 hits, 24 HR, 96 RBIs, 30 for 40 SBs, .338 BA/ .396 OBP/ .928 OPS
  • Gattis – 58 runs, 32 HR, 72 RBI, .251 BA/ .319 OBP/ .826 OPS
  • Springer – 116 runs, 29 HR, 82 RBIs, .261 BA/ .359 OBP/ .815 OPS
  • Correa – 76 runs, 20 HR, 96 RBI, .274 BA/ .361 OBP/ .811 OPS

2016 Core Four. After the big sniff of the playoffs in 2015, the 2016 season was a disappointment. Keuchel, McHugh, Mike Fiers and Doug Fister all started a bunch of games at the 4+ ERA level. Springer joins Correa and Altuve to make up three of the Core Four. For long-term, McCullers probably gets the nod here as a starter, but Devo maybe actually earned it. This one’s a tough call – we will go with LMJ here.

Astros 2017

The top performing players (or players with potential) put up numbers as follows:

  • Altuve – 112 runs, 24 HR, 81 RBIs, 32 for 38 SBs, .346 BA/ .410 OBP/ .957 OPS
  • Correa – 82 runs, 24 HR, 84 RBIs, .315 BA/ .391 OBP/ .941 OPS
  • Springer – 112 runs, 34 HR, 85 RBI, .283 BA/ .367 OBP/ .889 OPS
  • Alex Bregman – 88 runs, 19 HR, 71 RBI, .284 BA/ .352 OBP/ .827 OPS
  • Justin Verlander – 5-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.647 WHIP, 11.4 K/ 9 IP
  • Brad Peacock – 13-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.189 WHIP
  • Ken Giles – 1-3, 34 saves, 2.30 ERA, 1.037 WHIP in 62.2 IP
  • Devenski – 8-5, 2.68 ERA, 0.942 WHIP in 80.2 IP

2017 Core Four. There were a ton of big performances in 2017, including Marwin Gonzalez, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton, none of which were guaranteed to be with the club 2 years after the end of 2017.

Verlander immediately became a Core player as someone the team had to build around quickly to take of advantage of his 2 years and a couple months with the team. Beyond JV, there is no one taking the spots of MVP Altuve, WS MVP Springer and Correa. Bregman is a consideration, but that is based on 20/20 2018 hindsight.

Astros 2018

The top-performing players (or players with potential) put up numbers as follows:

  • Bregman – 105 Runs, 31 HR, 103 RBI, .286 BA/ .394 OBP/ .926 OPS
  • Altuve – 84 Runs, 13 HR, 61 RBI, .316 BA/ .386 OBP/ .833 OPS
  • Springer – 102 Runs, 22 HR, 71 RBI, .265 BA/ .346 OBP/ .780 OPS
  • Correa – 68 Runs, 15 HR, 65 RBI, .239 BA/ .323 OBP, .728 OPS
  • Tyler White – In 66 games, 27 Runs, 12 HR, 42 RBI, .276 BA/ .354 OBP/ .888 OPS
  • McCullers – 10-6, 3.86 ERA, 10 K/ 9 IP in 128.1 IP
  • Roberto Osuna – 2-2, 12 saves, 1.99 ERA, 0.882 WHIP
  • Josh James – 2-0, 2.35 ERA, 0.957 WHIP, 11.3 K/ 9 IP in 23 IP
  • Framber Valdez – 4-1, 2.19 ERA, 1.243 WHIP, 8.3 K/ 9 IP in 37 IP

2018 Core Four. This one is tough from a pitching side. Verlander, Cole, Pressly, Morton, and Keuchel could all be gone after 2018 or 2019. Bregman is a no-brainer as he was the best everyday player. Do we go with the injured trio of Springer, Altuve and Correa with the hope they rise back to 2017 levels? Do we wonder if McCullers will finally reach his potential? Do we tempt karma and put Osuna in the Core? Do we say James or Valdez is part of a new core? Do we say “untradeable” Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley is core? If Morton signs on or Cole gets an extension they automatically grab a core spot, but at the moment it has to be Bregman, Springer, Altuve and Correa.

OK – this was all scientifically calculated on a Cray computer, so there can be  no arguments…..(Like there are computer algorithms for choosing Core Fours)

Yes – your turn – tear me up, come up with your own criteria, whatever you want. It is your turn.

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74 comments on “Astros 2015-2018: The “Core Four”

  1. If we use Fangraphs WAR, it is Bregman, Verlander, Cole, Altuve, Keuchel, Morton, and Springer comes in at number 104 in WAR. If we are talking about next year, then the top four stay the top four. But if we are looking long term, we need to tie up Springer and then Correa and then Bregman. Cole would be nice but he may be watching to see what DK gets in the open market.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trouble being if we are talking about guys to “build around” for a couple years – Verlander, Cole, Keuchel and Morton may all be gone.

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  3. Gone for 2019 – Keuchel, 2020 Verlander, Morton 2021 (2 year deal), Cole 2020 (unless we sign him to a LT deal). Given that, pitching could be in a world of hurt. As far as our everyday players you have Altuve, Springer, Correa, and Bregman. Since Altuve is already signed the order of importance to keep is Bregman, Springer, Correa. I would hope Springer stays but one doesn’t know. I think with any of these guys it depends on how much they want to stay in Houston vs how much can they get on the open market. We could easily have a $200MM payroll come 2021 with just 4 or 5 players getting 100 – 120MM of it. I’m not sure the owners are willing to spend that kind of money unless we’re in the WS every year.

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  4. Back in late 2015 it was a consensus that the core to build around was Keuchel, Altuve, Springer, and Correa. That was the Ace, the 2B, the SS and the CF. That was going to be the core that this team would have developed, built around, tied up with contracts and have them take us to the moon and the stars.
    But now the core four seems to have added a 3B, but lost it’s ace of the future.
    It concerns me that, if LMJ is injured, and Keuchel departs(because he turned out not to be our ace and is not going to be part of the future), we currently don’t have a core four pitcher.
    So, let’s talk about who the guys are that we would like to be the “core four ” now. It would be the guys that four years from now would be the true ‘heart of this team.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In my opinion, the 2015 core four were Keuchel, McCullers, Altuve, and Correa. Only Altuve has lived up to expectations.
    I’m really concerned about Correa. His performance was way down even before his back injury. And speaking of back injury. A “sore back” tells me nothing. Backs are tricky injuries for anyone and there is no guarantee that 3 or 4 months rest will fix him.

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  6. I tagged this on to the end of the last post so will replay it here – “As for the core four, we already have Jose wrapped up but beyond Bregman there are questions. Until this season Correa would have been a no brainer but his fragility and lousy approach raised red flags for me. Springer is the intriguing one and since 2019 is his last before free agency his case is more urgent. His impact on the team in the clubhouse should not be dismissed. I often wonder what kind of numbers he would post if he applied his postseason approach to the entire regular season. I think my fourth core guy would be Cole. A relatively young durable top of the rotation guy is a precious commodity. Could James or Whitley evolve into that role? Seems risky to count on it.”

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    • I love your thinking, but we have Springer until after the 2020 season, so, 2 more years. He has a contract through 2019 because we negotiated his year 2 and year 3 of arbitration, but we have him for 2020 as his 4th arbitration year.

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      • Thanks for the correction OP. I was under the impression that Springer’s extension was through all his arb years.

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  7. Core four. We need an ace. Cole needs to be signed long term. Bregman and Altuve are the automatics. Bregman is in the running for a Glod Glove at third. Many would have considered that thought dookie a couple of years ago. I think he would do the same at short, his natural position. Correa should also be on the short list. But there are very few people who actually have definitive information on the health of our shortstop. Carlos can’t get paid to be one of the four if at 24 he’s already got back/core problems. We might get a real hint of his health situation by how hard the club tries to sign him to a long term deal. So for now, Springer is my 4th guy. He’s money. He remains the soul of this club. But I probably lead Bregman off next year. I’m hoping Jose comes back dedicated to getting his OBP back up to .400. With Bregman doing the same, that’s a tough proposition for any starter. Our nine hitter will get things to hit.

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    • Dave, a little off topic but did I read it right that you want Bregman to be the lead off hitter? If so I have to disagree. If it isn’t Springer, then it should be somebody like Kemp who makes good contact with the ball and takes walks. How’s this for a potential line up:
      Kemp (lf)
      Bregman (3rd)
      Altuve (2nd)
      Springer (cf)
      Correa (ss)
      White (DH)
      Gurriel (1st)
      Reddick (rf)
      Catcher (somebody whose not an automatic out)
      Assume Marwin will not be here.
      Note that Bregman has not done well in the lead off spot IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zanuda, I think Bregman is the perfect 25 homer, .400 OBP guy to start the game. And he, along with the other guys behind him are going to get the 9th guy plenty of pitches to hit later. I don’t want to think about Kemp leading off. He’s still a part time guy for me. If Tucker becomes Tucker, Kemp is the role player he should be.

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  8. Immediately this discussion took me to the other professional sports team in Houston … the Texans. Football careers are generally shorter. There is a changing of the guard in play with Watson coming on strong, but the heart and soul of that team remains JJ Watt. You know he’s going to give you every last ounce he can muster. If you’re making a list of core guys he has to be on it…even if he won’t be there a few years down the line.

    Coming back to Houston, the oft-injured trio of Altuve-Springer-Correa have to be in the core four. The problem when looking at this is that Verlander anchors that pitching staff and lends credibility to that part of the team. He’s in the Watt territory – how can you leave him off? That would mean that Bregman gets left off…but based on his effort in 2017 and 2018 I don’t think that’s possible. What it means is that Houston has an embarrassment of riches. The right choice heading into 2019 is that we’ve moved beyond a Core Four and just have The Core. Of course we can re-evaluate this next offseason after the parade.

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  9. My gut feeling is that they need to sign Morton for two years and Cole long term. I would say Verlander long term, but I don’t think he will stay here in flyover country and he will be getting to the “touchy” stage of his career when his deal is up after 2019. I think we need to mix in one new guy at least – each year.
    2019 rotation
    Verlander
    Cole
    Morton
    McHugh
    New guy (Framber?) w/ Peacock as a possibility

    2020 rotation
    Cole
    Morton
    Framber or whoever did well in 2019
    Peacock
    Bring in a FA ala Morton

    2021 rotation
    Cole
    FA from 2020
    Framber
    Pray a lot
    Pray even more

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      • I’m from Missouri on the young man – he needs to show me a solid 2019. I know he is the highest rated prospect, highest rated pitching prospect in baseball, etc. etc. and I can easily get back on his train. I think I just got burnt by the whole Mark Appel “sure thing” …. The kid needs to be healthy and not doing any Singletonian smoking and I will be ready to add him to the Core – when he’s earned it.

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  10. Upcoming dates….
    – The Astros have until Friday afternoon to extend Qualifying Offers to their free agents. Only a handful of players have accepted a QO in the past (the first being Colby Rasmus). If they accept it – they get $17.9 million for one season with the club. If they turn it down, the club will get a compensation pick if the player signs elsewhere. Giving a QO does not preclude a team from signing the player to a contract. Whispers are that Keuchel will get one, Morton would get one if he decides not to retire and Marwin (and other FAs) will not get offered one.
    – Sunday Nov. 4th the Gold Gloves will be awarded – Bregman, Keuchel and Maldonado are on the short list
    – Nov. 12th players have to accept or reject the qualifying offer
    – Nov. 20th – deadline to add players to the 40 man roster (and hide them from the Rule 5 draft)
    – Dec. 13th – the Rule 5 draft occurs

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  11. I need for my core four to be a pitcher, an infielder, an outfielder and a wild card. They need to be long term considerations, and they need to have proven they can perform consistently.
    Right now, I have my infielder, Altuve, my wild card, Bregman, my outfielder, Springer. But I don’t have my pitcher.
    Cole may be my core four pitcher. He’s young enough, good enough and appears to be reliable enough. But he’s not signed for the long haul. If they could extend him for another 4-5 years, he’s my guy. If not, then I have to wait for Whitley or somebody else to be my 4th guy.

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  12. Before reading any of the posts. I have go sign Cole long term. need an established ace while the kids grow up. I dont see JV staying, Tuve is already long term core, so I have to go Springer and Bregman. I like CC, not sure he is ever going to be a super star, really good yes, I worry about the back and his swing a bit, it has changed, even before the back injury.

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  13. Since I am the guy who suggested the topic of core four, I don’t necessarily want to distract from it. But I have some thoughts on other things as well:
    -Clayton Kershaw- Is he happy in LA and with Roberts as his manager? If he thinks he could see a better alternative, would he go for that. On the other hand, If the Dodgers were to make a managerial change, would that make him stay or leave.
    -The Red sox won the WS a year after the Astros won it. The Yankees stayed home. What are they fixing to do about it, now that they have reset their payroll penalty situation?
    -Even if the Phillies could sign Machado and Harper(as the rumor mill suggests), is there enough room in that locker room for these two egos, or could this be a huge mistake.
    -Is Tyler White capable of repeating his performance of 2018 for 600 PAs? One has to think that he learned a lot from this past season and saw some things in the playoffs that he can continue to work on. He swung at some bad pitches against Red Sox pitching, but White has always been a guy who has picked it up on his next try.

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    • But what does this have to do with Core Four? Just kidding
      – The Yanks have to be in full panic mode – since they don’t have a Championship in the 2010’s (If I am remembering right)
      – Are you wondering if we are getting Kershaw or is he headed to NYC?
      – I would like to see if White can extend that good work to a whole season – I agree he seems to learn, but I would like to see him be a bit of a hard body in the future
      – Phillies? Just don’t care much

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      • Nah, I wasn’t thinking about Kershaw for us. I’m just wondering about how he is thinking when it comes to getting that ring that no Dodger has won in thirty years.
        And I wonder about the Phillies because I think they have $65-70 million they would like to spend.

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  14. The Astros lost their bullpen coach today as he agreed to become Brad Ausmus’s pitching coach for the Angels. That’s two coaches in two days.
    Other teams want to be like us.

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  15. the problem is you cant focus too much on the future because the only games that count are the current season. (2019) so my core four are the same as they have been altuve, correa, bregman, springer. add to that and you are making a really good team. what about a pitching core? for 2019 thats verlander, cole, morton, osuna. add to that and you have a pretty good staff. we have under control players that could be added to the position and pitching cores without breaking the bank.

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  16. Over at mlbtraderumors.com -they have a chat going on and they took my questions….
    Dan P
    4:02
    Can the Astros sign Morton for a couple more years? Do they try and extend Cole?

    Steve Adams
    4:03
    I do think they’ll keep Morton for another couple seasons unless he just decides geography is the primary factor, in which case the Phillies would make tons of sense. They can try to extend Cole, but I doubt Scott Boras and Cole are agreeing to an extension a yer from free agency. Strasburg did it in DC, but he had a vastly longer history there.

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    • I really like Realmuto and would love to see him an Astro. I think Miami will demand a haul in return and I’m not sure that the Astros will be willing to part with what they will want. I also like Ramos and Grandal. Both are great offensively. Grandal is probably the best of the three defensively and Realmuto has the best arm of the three. Ramos and Realmuto are close offensively, with Ramos bringing a little higher average and Realmuto a little more power. I could see the Astros go 3 to 4 at $10 per on either Grandal or Ramos if they can’t trade for Realmuto.

      If they do have to go the FA route for a catcher, at least they will hold onto some great young talent for a trade deadline deal to address a need that we don’t even know we will have until middle of next season.

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  17. I really wonder what the market is going to be for Josh Donaldson. He is still only 32 but his walk year was marred by injury. He was looking at the hitting the mother load prior to 2018 and now he may be a candidate for a reasonable 1 year deal to rebuild value and hit the FA market again next year at age 33. He is a very good defensive 3B and could give some versatility. He could also slot into the DH and greatly improve the offense. White could move to 1B and his bat would stay in the lineup. Gurriell could move to super utility if MG not re- signed.

    Donaldson throes his body around a lot at 3B and a year in the DH slot may be just the cure for his body to heal up. From all accounts he is a great clubhouse guy. The lure of getting a ring may make Houston attractive to him.

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    • I think it would have to be a really good deal for the Astros to be interested. They need other spots to fill and he might not be around by the time they fill them. But, I will admit he is a luxury and would fill a big need should Correa’s back not be as good as new. So, there is that.

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    • I think 1 yr at $15, plus a darn good chance to get a ring could be attractive to him. I’m looking at a 1 year window: How do we win it all in 2019? Donaldson on a 1 year deal makes this team better for 2019 without hurting it in the future. We can worry about 2020 when it gets here. He would be playing for a multi- year deal and the bulk of his time at DH will keep him healthy. I would love to see it happen.

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  18. My core 4 starts with Bregman. Can play above average 3B and SS, has a disciplined plate approach, the drive to be the best of the best and controllable through the end of 2022 season.

    Next is Altuve. While I continue to maintain that he will not be a $29M/yr player over the life of his contract, he is the heart and soul of the team. He is locked in through 2025 with a full not- trade.

    Correa comes in #3, since he is controllable through the end of the 2021 season. Carlos is an average defender with the potential to be a game- changing bat. He needs to put up or shut up in 2019.

    Last, and arguably most importantly, my #4 is really my number 1. I do not believe that the Astros are the TEAM they are without George Springer. Without him I think the team looks different, acts different and play different. I would lock up GS even if it meant overpaying and even if it meant that CC had to walk after the 2021 season.

    After the “core 4” of today we will need to rely on Whitley, Framber, James, Beer (I just love that name), Straw, Tucker, and many more to step forward and carry the mantle for the next generation.

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  19. Correa’s stock has certainly dropped on this blog. And with good reason. But I doubt the front office is as alarmed. He’s still young with tremendous talent and he has an offseason with no WS hangover to get healed up and his mind right. But I agree with vewill: next year is put up or shut up time.

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    • He was also looking like an MVP candidate into early June. Unless there was a long term issue sustained I’m not concerned (and doubt the FO is either) about him bouncing back strong.

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  20. If the core of this team has shown us anything, it is that the core isn’t always the core. Whether we chose our own personal core, or Sandy’s core or Dan’s core four in 2015, things aren’t always going to turn out the way they seem or the way we want.
    One of our guys from 2015, Keuchel, is a free agent and one had a bad, injury filled season that tore up the middle of a championship caliber lineup.
    The very idea of a core four might be something that is going to be virtually impossible now that baseball is driven by money and analytics, instead if being driven by baseball.
    To me, the idea of a core four of players that come out of your system, develop into your best players, carry your team for a decade and then ride off into the sunset with blue and orange colors is something we will hardly see, but will still dream about.
    Baseball has become a sport, like others, with the core that are ours until they are offered more somewhere else. Home is not where the heart is, but, where the money is. Rare is the star in the twilight of his career that says he wants to stay home and take less money to stay home.
    When Mauer says he wants to stay with his team or he will retire, he is the epitome of the baseball players from the past. When I hear a player indicate that he wants to be the highest paid player ever, I hear a guy who says he is more important than all the great players who came before him. And when I hear a guy say he is not all about hustle, I cringe, and then I remember that he has never been able to carry his team to the top, and now I know why.

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  21. Keuchel will be a solid addition to any rotation. But then again, guys leading off the game against him hit .394 with a .897 OPS. His first inning stats, as we all know, were flat out bad. But he started to fade as early as the 5th, progressively getting less effective in the 6th and 7th innings. Again, not unusual, but this is the Dallas Keuchel of the future. He does not and will not have a miss pitch. We can build a stronger rotation for 2019 without paying him 20 milllion times 5 years.

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    • Sandy, I think this is a real indicator of the gap between the elite of baseball/media and the fans. This was the matchup that baseball wanted and the media wanted. But baseball missed the ferry. The only fans that wanted to see the Dodgers win were Dodger fans, and the only fans that wanted to see the Red Sox win were the Red Sox fans.
      There are 28 other teams in baseball and they were not excited about watching two of the richest teams in baseball fight it out on opposite coasts, while listening to a drooling announcer who thinks he is God’s gift to sports.
      I’m a baseball nut, but I didn’t watch the WS and apparently there were a lot of fans who didn’t watch either. Too many commercials, games are too long, too many nasty beards, and too many players I don’t like.
      Yuk!

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      • I only watched most of last game. Not because of anything other than I thought the RedSox would clinch. But you are spot in in the length and # of the commercials which made the games too long and The scruffy beards look horrendous. I know it is a far reach but beards that look like you haven’t shaved in a year are something I don’t want to see. That includes Keuchel, Gattis and White. Sorry, just an opinion. Of course we may only see White next year. Remember when Johnny Damon went to play for the Yankees. He had to cut his hair and shave if I recall. And yes, a few players I don’t like either.

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      • If you didn’t watch the games, then you missed all the Taco Bell commercials in the middle of the innings. The only delay of the game for a commercial that I liked was the Stand Up to Cancer.

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  22. OP, I didn’t watch the World Series this year because of the reasons you just mentioned. I love to see the less famous, lower income teams develop their own players and take the big series. Buying the best players takes away from the game. At least for me.
    Looks like the rest of the country feels the same way.

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  23. I think there is some backlash at the teams/cities that think they deserve to be in the WS (LA, NYC, Bos, Chi). Here in flyover country we want to see something else / new. I know it sounds blasphemy to the networks, but a Brewers / Boston WS might have been a better draw just because people would want to find out what the heck this Milwaukee team is all about – and as Sandy says – seeing a spending David playing a spending Goliath.
    I just get sick of the arrogance from the East/West coast – there are good teams and players elsewhere that deserve a shot too. The Astros knocked out the media darling Yanks and Bosox last year and gave the world one of the most compelling WS ever.

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  24. In February of 2016, after signing a “record setting” deal with Adidas, Carlos Correa made a comment about how this five-year deal would take care of him and his family until free agency arrived.
    That is the moment I realized that Correa was no longer a member of my core four. I haven’t seen anything that changes my opinion on that.

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    • I think it was a poor choice of words. I also think it’s premature for Correa and his agent to say with certainty he won’t sign any extensions prior to becoming a free agent. A lot can happen before he reaches that milestone. Right now he has about five shortstops who have positioned themselves to make as much or more money. The extension might be a smart move.

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    • Let’s see…hmmm. He gets a 4.8MM signing bonus, and has made 2.3MM so far in salary. If you don’t mind me saying , well never mind. I’ll just think it. I’m very disappointed.

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  25. Things that tell me I must be dumb:
    -If LMJ needed TJ Surgery, wouldn’t he have had it by now? Or has he? Full recovery is about 16 mos. Like February 2020.
    -Would trading almost nothing for Sonny Gray give money to the Yankees to go get Corbin?
    -Didn’t Brian McCann’s Journey to AAA for a few games and the AA for a week or so seem more like a scouting trip than a rehab? Look at all those pitchers he got to see and maybe even catch in that assignment. Soon after, Pinales, Whitley, Bukauskas, Toro, Dawson and Thornton get their AFL assignments. Think McCann had any opinions on Stubbs, Richey and Quintana? Wasn’t Deetz and Framber and James called up soon after? Have I missed anyone?
    -Bukauskas had the aforementioned not-so-good outing on the 11th and hasn’t pitched in 20 days. Is he hurt or did the Astros think he has had enough innings for the year?
    -It’s been 6 weeks since Bannister was fired. Is Texas thinking about an Opener manager situation? You know, letting a different someone from the bullpen start managing each game. Or were they waiting for somebody on Boston’s or the Dodger’s staff to finish in the WS? Maybe Roughned is going to be player/manager.
    -Man, MLB Network is so building up this GM hiring by the Mets. It’s like a slobber fest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1OP, I must be dumb too. I have had the same thoughts about LMJ. I really hope they are not considering the Gerrett/ Ohtani route of passive treatment, since it has never worked. If he indeed has a torn UCL he had better have already had the surgery.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. The more I think about free agency, the more I think that a lot of players with high hopes will come away disappointed.

    Over a third of MLB teams are in rebuild mode and will not be shopping for high dollar veterans. The new approach is to develop core players internally and supplement with reasonably priced free agents as needed to flesh out the roster. The new norm is a “needs- based” approach to FA shopping.

    Here’s my list of teams with deep pockets that will be shopping. Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, Cubs. I could see the Yankees, Dodgers and Phillies bidding on Machado. I could see the Cubs and Phillies bidding on Harper. I don’t think either gets close to the $300+ they are wanting. I think the Yankees will go after pitching first and I expect them to sign Corbin. That signing may take them out of the Machado sweepstakes.

    Once the big names are signed, the bargain shopping will begin. Here are my projections on a few:

    Machado – 7/200
    Harper – 10/250
    Corbin – 6/150
    Keuchel – 4/75-80
    Eovaldi – 3/50
    Marwin – 4-32
    Ramos – 3/30
    Grandal – 3/21
    Brantley – 4/60
    Murphy – 3/ 45

    I think that the big winners will be the one’s willing to go for short- term deals. Guys like Pollock and Donaldson could benefit with one year deals at higher annual value and try to build more value. I think there will be some great options for the Astros to improve the team in 2019 via FA without hamstringing them in the future.

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  27. Couple comments on the above and both are reference agents. One, they tend to over sell their clients. Not a bad policy if you can get it. But last year, it did not work out and they were just Over Pricing and not Over Selling. Second, I think the Correa comment was made about the same time that he gave the Astros a year or so to buy out his arbitration years or give him an extension. So I think most of his comments were set up by his agent at the time. Also, Altuve got screwed by accepting the first extension offer. So at that time, it was a little “Don’t offer me Altuve money.”

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  28. The Astros have decided not to exercise Brian McCann’s option and he is a free agent.
    The Astros have also outrighted Jandel Gustave off the 40- man roster and he is a free agent.

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  29. Been kinda under the weather the last week or so, but I’ve gotta remind all of us how awesome it is right now for this team to even HAVE a core 4!!! Talked to a friend of mine last Friday about Springer, and he told me he played a round of golf with him last week. He said surgery on his thumb has been put on the back burner for now. I’m not sure if he’s seen a surgeon about it, or if George is thinking rest will take care of it. Correa is getting married in December, and maybe he’s decided he’s not going to have surgery, who knows if he really NEEDS it. Worst case is the same guys going on the DL *again* at the same time like last year. Not picking up McCann’s, option was wise, and I agree we thank your Brian McCann for steering our awesome rotation to the World series!!
    He’s one of about 4 guys I was so glad they FINALLY reached that pinnacle of “The Ring”!!! Now I hope he can sign a one day deal with the Braves, so if he would be lucky enough to get into the HOF, he can go in as an Atlanta Brave!
    I’m excited for this winter….I absolutely know Jeff Luhnow will address some of the holes he needs to plug up. I REALLY hope we can keep Marwin, I really do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Becky, if that is true about these players putting off “needed” surgery, then that shows irresponsibility by the club. The players do not need to wait until February to have their surgeries! Perhaps, the surgeries are not needed after all.

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  30. http://m.astros.mlb.com/roster
    33 names on this 40-man roster. The first thing that struck me was only one catcher. Then there are the names of players who have made it to the bigs and haven’t contributed like we had hoped.
    Finally, the guys who aren’t there that were there for years.

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