The last time the Astros went to the World Series…..boy, does that sound like an arrogant lead-in. Grey Poupon should be served with that statement. Maybe the nicer way of putting this is, “The second time in the Astros’ 57 season history that they went to the World Series and the first time they won it, the team made their big moves before the 2016 winter meetings.” Nori Aoki was picked up off waivers in early November, they signed Charlie Morton on the 16th of the month, traded for Brian McCann the day after, signed Josh Reddick a week later and then picked up Carlos Beltran on the 5th of December.
Now, after winning the whole enchilada in 2017, the Astros off-season add-on moves did not really happen until the Winter Meetings a year ago. They had a real need for bullpen assistance after the melt-downs of the 2017 playoff run and so they picked up Joe Smith on Dec. 13th and Hector Rondon on Dec. 15th. This was overshadowed by the huge trade on Jan. 13 for Gerrit Cole from the Pirates. But basically, the Astros did not make any moves of significance until the Winter Meetings.
Which leads us to this year and the 2018 Winter Meetings which begin today, Dec. 9th. The Astros in this off-season have made two mid-ish moves before the meetings in trading for utility man Aledmys Diaz (can we call him Al – because I keep having to re-look up his name every time I type it) and signing free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos.
To most interested parties (e.g. fans), it is obvious the Astros should be planning on making more moves and the sooner the better (from our point of view). We would like Chirinos to be a second-string catcher behind someone better they pick up soon. We would like another Morton or Cole-like move for the rotation. And we would like to see a big bat added to the outfield.
Of course, Jeff Luhnow works in a world where he will make moves, if any, on his own timetable. He will look at the value of who they want and the value of what it will take. He will look at how the market is shaking out and whether waiting a bit may bring the costs down. He will be looking at whether certain moves may block someone they like a lot. He may also decide that his best value may be to wait on certain moves – maybe even wait until the trade deadline.
So, do you think anything will happen during the Winter Meetings and what should it be?