Astros 2019: If you had your rathers…

As the off-season continues to be the biggest non-event since Geraldo showed us Al Capone’s “vault”, we here at will attempt to stimulate audience participation with a little diddy called “Would You Rather”?

Would you rather……

  1. Include Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley in a high profile trade?
  2. Trade for catcher J.T. Realmuto or pitcher Corey Kluber?
  3. The Rangers reach the playoffs, but the Astros win the World Series or the Rangers come in last in the division, but the Astros lose in the playoffs?
  4. See the Astros have an easy time of it in winning their division or have to sweat a bit along the way?
  5. Have the Astros’ pitching staff lead the team or the hitters lead the team in 2019?
  6. The Astros make their biggest move in this off-season or wait until the in-season trade deadline(s)?
  7. Have the Astros sign one big deal free agent like Bryce Harper or a bring on two or three secondary FAs?
  8. Have a big comeback season by Josh Reddick or by Will Harris and Chris Devenski?
  9. Carlos Correa have a huge year while missing 30 games or have a good season while playing 155 games?
  10. The Astros signed Cole Gerrit or Justin Verlander to a 3-year extension?
  11. The Astros start to rely on their own minor league pitchers or continue to fill in from outside more than inside?

By the way, that top line about Al Capone’s vault is just to tweak the baseball gods so that they will show us who’s boss and get this off-season party started.

So….let the world know what you think!


54 comments on “Astros 2019: If you had your rathers…

  1. Writer’s note – I wrote this one yesterday at lunch – so the baseball gods did respond with the Michael Brantley trade after I wrote this but before it was posted…


  2. 1. Probably would live with the loss of Tucker, not Whitney.
    2. Realmuto.
    4. Tough enough so that it’s not a walk in the park, but being overpowering enough to afford rest and health entering October.
    5. Hitters will bounce back. I’m pretty sure we’ll have a stronger line up too. We don’t know yet what our rotation will look like yet though. But yeah, the bats will make the bigger statement in 2019.
    6. The bigger off season move is still to be made. Luhnow knows what he wants now. Any deadline deal would be based on needs then. Someone is bound to get hurt.
    7. I’d be shocked if Harper showed up.
    8. Reddick will have a bounce back year, but 2017 was his career year. I’ve got more confidence in Harris than Devo.
    9 If Carlos has a huge year over 130 games, that’s great. We’ve already got an All Star back up at short.
    10. Getting Cole signed long term is at the top of my list.
    11. Our young pitching will get a much bigger look this year and be involved in the rotation. It’s time.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m an Astros fan, so I would like to swing on a star
    and carry moonbeams home in a jar.
    Make them better off than they are.
    And make other teams be snails.


  4. 1. If I had to choose between trading Tucker or Whitley, I would trade Tucker. Only for more than one year control of a star player at a position of need.
    2. I’d rather Realmuto than Kluber. More of a need and I would rather trade a #1 prospect to the NL.
    3. Dave skipped this question. I want the Astros to win the WS because that would mean we would have beaten the Rangers in the playoffs, or somebody else would have done it for us.
    4. I’d rather see the Astros have an easy time in the division so that they could get some of the young pitchers up and ready for the future.
    5. I’d rather have the batters lead the team. I like the way 2017 ended.
    6. I’d like to see the Astros make their biggest move this offseason rather than the deadline. I want the attendance to be huge from the start, the Astros to be in first place from the get go and to have the best record in baseball.
    7. I’d rather see the Astros make 2-3 moves to improve and fill all the holes.
    8. I’d rather see Reddick have a big comeback season.
    9. I’d rather see Carlos Correa have a good complete season.
    10. I think I’d rather have Cole for three years. I love Verlander, but am afraid of his age.
    11.I would like the Astros to acquire one starter from outside to help out for a couple of years as we blend in the young pitchers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 1. Tucker.
    2. Realmuto.
    3. Astros win the WS.
    4. Win the division easily. Which I think will happen.
    5. Both.
    6. Now-Realmuto
    7. I just don’t see a Harper deal. Especially now and I’m not sure it would be a good fit.
    8. Reddick. I’ve lost confidence in Devo and Will.
    9. A good 155.
    10. Cole.
    11. Inside.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Just wondering – now that Brantley is becoming an Astro – does that mean Tucker gets a couple more years at Round Rock or does he become trade bait.


  7. Why are we talking about the Rangers at all? Does anyone on this blog actually care about them? They’re just another team in the division. They have some players who can’t act like professionals on their roster. I only care about the Astros winning.

    Let’s flash back to the 2015 draft. Thanks to the Brady Aiken debacle of 2014, Houston had pics #2 and 5. I was concerned, but the Diamondbacks took Swanson at #1 and liked him so much they flipped him that offseason. Houston took Bregman, which ended up great for us, at #2. At #5 we took Tucker. Boston took Andrew Benintendi at #7. Apologies if this is a bit painful. The reason I bring it up is this – Benintendi was awesome at Arkansas and flew up the draft board that spring. Tucker had been on the radar as a likely top 10 pick for awhile due to all his potential. In June of that year, we were in first place after an amazing start and looking like a playoff drought was ending. So my question is this: did Luhnow and friends make a critical mistake in that draft? What if they picked Benintendi instead? How amazing would our 2018 outfield have looked? Brantley surely would be still waiting on an offer from someone else this offseason…and Boston certainly would not have beat Houston in the playoffs last fall.

    I still think Tucker is going to be an All Star level bat at the big league level. I don’t think he’ll bring the rest of the game to the table that Benintendi does, however, and I’m a bit more concerned because of his age. He couldn’t cut it last year despite showing that AAA is below him. How long does he need to make the adjustments? Does he need to mature more physically? I’m seeing this as a situation where Houston develops him to be a star in another uniform. I don’t think it would be the same level of impact as Christian Yelich last season, but I’m thinking there would be a similar trajectory. So right now I’d be ok flipping Tucker in a trade for a proven major leaguer…but it better not bring back a Jason Jennings type.

    Did that answer any of your questions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Op once helped me slow my roll with Tucker expectations. He was actually the unluckiest batter in baseball as BABIP shows, and he was a little awe struck — were his words. I’ve wished we’d taken Benintendi a 100X over, so we’ll just have to wait and see. It may help to have a new hitting crew and possible approach changes, and it’s likely he gets every chance to start. He’s bulking up this offseason, so I think his future is still very bright. Astros are projected with 2nd best pitching and hitting As-Is, so we might ought to sit back a little, instead of feeling like unloading prospects.

      Here’s an excerpt of JL: I came from a management consulting internet startup environment where it’s now, now, now and it’s die or succeed immediately and that was my wiring coming into baseball. [It] has a way of making you slow down and say, ‘You know what? This game has been around a long time. It’s going to be around a long time.’ And so there’s a certain amount of respect and listening to other people, and there’s a certain amount of knowledge within the game that it takes a little bit of time to appreciate before you start redesigning everything and wanting results immediately.

      So, Dan, my answer is neither. It’s not my kind of syllogism. Now, Francis Martes, or Cion Perez — I could trade them. Maybe be talked into Jake, and definitely find a trade partner for Reddick (though we’d eat some salary). How about Smith, or Rondon?

      Liked by 1 person

    • I personally think the front office had two top assets (the #2 and #5 picks) and decided to pick up one close to ready prospect (Bregman) and one longer term prospect (Tucker) who might be a tad riskier but who could also be the type of talent who would be a #1 prospect by the time he got to Bregman’s age.
      Its way too early to call it some kind of huge mistake to take Tucker over Benintendi. Tucker hit poorly in his first set of at bats, much like Bregman and Springer did at much older ages.
      The key is the Astros picked Bregman – and he has put up as much WAR as all the first rounders from the 2015 draft put together.
      Tucker may be a wash out or he may get traded, or he could stay and be a great OF for a number of years. We shall see.


      • This is just hypothetical. If Kyle Tucker is the centerpiece in a trade for the best catcher in baseball and the Astros go on to win a WS in one of Realmuto’s two years here, that seems like a win to me.
        If Realmuto falls in love with the team, the city, the Astros and winning and signs a 4-5 year deal to be the starting catcher in Houston, then Kyle Tucker would have become a huge draft pick for the Astros.
        We can talk core of a team all we want, but having an All-Star catcher in place for our young pitchers to throw to would be huge for the Astros future.
        A Realmuto/Stubbs combination at catcher for years would seem like heaven to me.


      • Yes OP, it is indeed all hypothetical. For instance, had Tucker been traded last winter to the Fish for their left fielder, hypothetically, we’d be the World Champions at this moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Today is Christmas shopping day. It is going to be great to go into town and not have to go to the doctor. I am feeling so much better!
    I hope there are 50 new comments for me to read when I return.


    • So, what you are telling us is that it is OK for us to talk about you when you are out? That is probably the only way we get to 50 comments before you come back.
      Hey, glad you and Sandy are feeling better. The blog needs all its loyal citizens.


    • great that you are feeling better op. let the rest of us with back /nerve problems know what you believe helped the most etc. drugs? chir0practor? rest? stretching? massage?


      • rrj, I went to a party with all the Grandkids and one of them had a cold. Pretty soon, all of us were sick. I was in bed for two weeks. When I got better my sciatica was gone.
        So, after all of the meds, exercise, chiropractor and semi-resting, it was doing absolutely nothing for two weeks of being sick that allowed my back to heal.


  9. 1) Tucker. Whitley is off the table
    2) Realmuto. I like Kluber but rotation lacking a lefty
    3) Could care less whether Rangers win or lose as long as Stros win another WS
    4) Hard or easy as long as they win it all
    5) Lineup needs to redeem itself
    6) Get us pumped up making additions now
    7) Short of Trout they should pass on both Harper & Machado. Brantley signed now it’s time to lock down Realmuto & another pitcher, preferably a lefty.
    8) Reddick may be gone, even if we have to eat some salary (he may have bounce back season). Would rather see pitchers improve & pick up another impact bat if need be. Think the FO wants Reddick gone
    9) CC is suppose to be an AS caliber player, be that man however many gms he plays
    10) Extend Cole
    11) Mix in the young’uns with some outside help
    Read today the NYY may hire Beltran. Why couldn’t we? Also we’re suppose to be back in the mix for Realmuto again with the addition of Brantley. I like Astros chances at Realmuto with other tms adding C, reducing the # of those in play for JT. Once we land JT time to add a lefty if possible to the rotation.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. OK – so if we are going to talk about oldpro in front of his back – let me start.

    What about that name? Oldpro – I mean we know he’s old, but what’s he a pro about?

    On this blog we pride ourselves on this being amateur hour. What’s this guy trying to do lording his title over all of us?

    But if op comes back from shopping and reads this – we love you man!


  11. I am really liking the Brantley addition statistically.

    Brantley’s .295 lifetime BA would have slotted into the 2018 Astros starting line-up as 2nd highest, behind only Altuve.

    Brantley’s .351 lifetime OBP would have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th hightest, behind Bregman, Altuve, and Tyler White. Notably, the OBP of the guy I think Brantley pushes off the 2019 team – Tony Kemp – was exactly identical to Brantley’s lifetime OBP – but Kemp’s BA as an Astro was about thirty points lower, and Kemp hits for a lot less power.

    Brantley’s 12 SBs last hear would have slotted him into the 2018 Astros as 2nd, behind Altuve. Plus, he was only caught stealing 3 x.

    Brantley’s 17 HRs last year would have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th highest, behind Springer, Bregman, and Gattis.

    Brantely’s 76 RBIs last year would also have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th, behind Bregman, Gurriel, and Gattis.

    Brantley’s .832 OPS last year would also have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th, behind Bregman, Tyler White, and Altuve.

    Plus, Brantley only struck out 60 times in 631 plate appearances.

    He may not be Mike Trout, but if he can stay healthy, he most definitely looks to be an offensive step up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can we hold off the Brantley discussion just a little bit – I finished a new post at lunch specifically about him that hopefully gets posted this evening


      • Stopping the presses! Shoving the cat back in the bag! Tossing the skunk out of the jury box! Rewrapping all the Hannukah presents I received in red and green wrapping paper that says ‘Merry Christmas’!

        Liked by 2 people

  12. Forget everything I said above about that unnamed outfielder Luhnow signed. Regarding J.T. Realmuto – who we are reportedly still trying to negotiate away from the Marlins:

    His .279 lifetime BA would have slotted into the 2018 Astros starting line-up as 4th highest, behind Altuve, Gurriel, and Bregman. That BA would have beat both Stassi’s and McCann’s by over 50 points apiece.

    Realmutos .327 lifetime OBP would have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 5th highest, behind Bregman, Altuve, Tyler White and George Springer.

    Realmuto’s 21 HRs last year would have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th highest, behind Springer, Bregman, and Gattis.

    Realmuto’s 74 RBIs last year would also have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th, behind Bregman, Gurriel, and Gattis.

    Realmuto’s .825 OPS last year would also have slotted into the 2018 Astros as 4th, behind Bregman, Tyler White, and Altuve -and would have been 45 points higher than George Springers.

    Plus, while Realmuto strikes out more than that unnamed outfield acquisition [doesn’t everyone?], he still only struck out less per PA than Marwin, Springer, Correa, Gattis or Stassi.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Great analysis Mr. Bill; on both unnamed outfielder signed recently and Realmuto. I like the signing of unnamed outfielder and I really like JTR, but I’m not sure I like 2 years of him at the cost of Tucker, who I think has the talent to be not only an all- star but potentially a consistent MVP candidate.

      I’m not a huge Chirinos fan but I am warming to the idea of a Chirinos/ Stubbs platoon. I just don’t see Stassi as much more than a decent backup, who hits very little and has trouble with handling pitchers.

      With that said, if I thought adding JTR would automatically guarantee us a second WS championship, I would trade Whitley AND Tucker for him in a heartbeat.


  13. 1. I would only trade Tucker or Whitely for someone that I felt would guarantee us a WS championship. Whitely is the very best of an insanely deep stable of young arms. Tucker is the very best of a thin outfield group. If I were forced to choose I would have to part with Tucker first. I think Whitely could be a generational talent.

    2. Traditionally I would say go with the pitcher, but I now think baseball has changed and bullpens can be constructed to overcome starting pitching deficiencies.Up the middle defense is covers a lot of sins so I would have to say JTR.

    3. WS title.

    4. Easy. Cruise into the post- season rested. The core is already tested.

    5. Whatever it takes to win another WS.

    6. Whatever it takes to win another WS.

    7. Harper.

    8. We have a deep enough bullpen and enough young arms to make Reddick the easy choice.

    9. Huge and miss 30.

    10. Cole will hold out for a Greinke/ Kershaw type deal so this is a moot question. I would however take Verlander at 3/60.

    11. Combination. We need to have 3 of our young arms hit and supplement with wise FA signings.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 1. Tucker
    2. Realmuto
    3. Astros win the WS
    4. Easy time. 30 game lead sounds about right
    5. Hitters need to step up
    6. Get it done now.
    7. Harper is too high-risk. Fill any holes elsewhere.
    8. Reddick
    9. Huge year, even if he misses 30 games (see item 4)
    10. Cole
    11. Give preference to inside guys

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the Harvey signing was a very good move. I had kind of hoped he was going to be one of those surprise Astros moves. He is finally healthy and his velo is creeping back up. I think Strom could have unlocked the long forgotten Dark Night.


  15. I hope everyone is doing well. It’s been awhile and I am wishing all of you a Merry Christmas.

    For the record, I am completely against including Tucker in a trade for Realmuto. I like JTR, but I think some Astros fans are overhyping him some. He’s projected for a 109 wRC+ in 2019 and only has 2 years of control. I think the Astros will get significantly more value out of 6 years from Tucker than they will in 2 years of Realmuto. If I was going to trade Tucker it would be for 3 years of Kluber.


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