Can the Astros’ wrap up George Springer?


Today we make apologies to Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland…..

He’s no longer the young apprentice
But he’s not as old as Jeff Kent is
Hypnotized by him if we should linger
Staring at a four hundred foot dinger

He’s got a lot of baseball knowledge
Things he learned since Connecticut college
We can see his destiny foretold if he starts chasing that jangling bag of gold

Luhnow will be wrapping up George Springer,
Luhnow will be wrapping up George Springer
Hope King Midas is not his name
That old Georgie has a lot of game
He will listen hard to contract submissions
We hope the Astros offer comes to its fruition
Luhnow will be wrapping up George Springer
Luhnow will be wrapping up George Springer

Altuve and Bregman bat behind G.
One of the toughest lineups you will ever see

He’s more than just a home run blaster
Though Myles Straw is a good bit faster

Luhnow will be wrapping up George Springer
Luhnow will be wrapping up George Springer

A little side step as we spend a couple minutes looking at George vs. one of his teammates.

Perception accounts for a lot when it comes to the fans feelings about two of their most talented players – George Springer and Carlos Correa. Here’s a little discussion from last week on Carlos….. https://chipalatta.com/2019/06/27/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-correa/

In general, folks think that Springer is genuine, is a huge team player and is in many ways the heart of the team’s clubhouse and dugout….and this seems to be true. Correa is thought to be a bit more of a “me first” player and someone who is halfway out the door – which is likely a fair bit of speculation. Oh, and folks question Correa’s heart a bit relative to staying on the field.

The following table shows what each player would be expected to produce over a 162 game average based on their career numbers to date.

Name BA OBP OPS Runs 2B’s HR’s RBIs
Springer .269 .359 .840 115 29 33 90
Correa .279 .356 .840 92 36 29 118

Not a ton to choose from here. Pretty even between the two – Springer scores more because he leads off – Correa knocks in more runs because he is in the middle of the lineup.

But of course, Springer is worth more because he comes closer to playing in 162 games than the fragile Correa does. Right? No, that is not true.

Since Springer came up he has played in a little less than 77% of games the Astros played in that time frame as he missed significant time in 2014, 2015, and 2017-2019. Correa has played in a little more than 77% of games the Astros played since his call-up in 2015 as he has missed significant time in 2017-2019. So when you think about pursuing one over the other, ability to stay on the field is a toss-up. And Correa is about 5 years younger…..

But concentrating purely on Springer and his situation, he is currently finishing up the 2nd year of a 2 year / $24 million contract that bought out two arbitration years. He can be brought back in 2020 for his final arbitration year before free agency. The way he was playing to start the season, he looked like he might be headed for a Mookie Betts type of $20 million payout for 2020. With missing a month of the season so far, you would think it would be tempered back to something in the range of $14-15 million.

So what are the options?

  • Extend Springer. On the plus side, he is not represented by Scott (Let Keuchel and Kimbrel rot until June) Boras. And also Springer and his reps may be looking at what has happened to free agents on the wrong side of 30. By the time the 2020 season ends, Springer will be 31 y.o. A possible model to look at would be the 3 yr / $50 million contract the A’s Khris Davis signed this last off-season buying out his last season of arbitration, plus 2 years of free agency when Davis was facing free agency at 31 y.o. after the 2019 season. Davis, while more powerful and more of an RBI man than Springer is not as good a hitter for batting average or on base and not as good a fielder or runner. But he is more durable (three straight seasons with 150 games or more). So, maybe dangle 3 yrs $55 million for George and see if that moves his needle. If not that – maybe pony up another season on that offer.
  • Let him go through arbitration and then compete to sign him on the other side. Obviously, this risks losing him to a silly contract from a deep pockets team. It would probably save $2 or 3 million for his arbitration year and who knows what the market will look like after 2020. But it is still a risk.
  • Have him go through arbitration and then trade him at the 2020 deadline. This just does not seem quite right. The team has not chosen to trade a relied-upon, big time major league asset since the dark days of the franchise. A trade including Springer would only happen if the team totally fell out of the race and they had indications that Springer was not interested in staying.

A few questions for you:

  • Not quite Sophie’s Choice – but if you could only afford to sign Springer or Correa – who would you choose and why?
  • Of the three options related to Springer which one do you think the team will pursue? Which one do you think they should pursue?
  • If you thought there was no way to re-sign Springer during the 2020 season would you trade him for prospects? Would the team have to be out of it?
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64 comments on “Can the Astros’ wrap up George Springer?

  1. If there was ANYBODY who defines the 2014 to 2019 Astros it’s George Springer. He *is* the Astros! You have a core 4, and you have extended 2 of them. We know it will probably be impossible to keep Correa, but it’s really a “no brainer” when it comes to George Springer. There would be an ALL OUT REVOLT if Luhnow let him walk. So to answer your question: Luhnow had better make it happen.
    P.S. We won! 5 games in a row!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. DanP, we all appreciate all of your hard work. But if you don’t knock off writing about trading our good players, well I will just start addressing you as Spec RichardsonP. Now to answer your questions before being banned for life, I think you have to make a good, solid, valid offer to George and to Correa. Then what happens, happens. We need both of them to be competitive for the next few years.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think you try to do things in order. Springer is next. You try to get him done next. Then you make your decision on Correa when that time arrives.
    I always try to remember that the next CBA might wipe out the spending limits and there might not be penalties for spending too much. If the Astros have their core tied up for years when that happens, they are going to be in pretty good shape, both on the field and off the field.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m no Correa fan, but between the two it’s hard to ignore his age advantage. But I think he has to prove his ability to stay on the field before you try to tie him up with the big dollars it will surely require. Maybe CC has stayed on the field a bit more than Springer, but I sense Springer still has intangible value when injured which Correa does not seem to have. So I would pursue Springer first. And if you can’t time him up, then yes, I would certainly consider trading him in his walk year.

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  5. What Becky said sums it up for me.
    Even when he is injured he is always in the dugout. I’ve looked for Correa since he’s been on the IL. I see him sometimes at home but I don’t believe he’s traveling with the team.
    Luhnow should get this done now. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t already happened.
    I believe the team would have to be out if it for the Astros to trade him.

    Like

  6. First of all everyone, Happy Independence Day. It’s the one holiday I really miss when away from home.

    From the standpoint of straight out ability and presence on the field when his game is on, to me, seeing Carlos at short is more significant than seeing George in center. But team play is right on the top of the list for me, and it’s apparent Luhnow builds his teams with that very much in mind. So the short answer is to get Springer wrapped up. Dan, but I don’t think he’ll extend so economically. I do think that’s the best way to keep him though. Luhnow will have far deeper considerations than me though. Does he have his outfielders lined up for the next five years? When might our next young short stop or third baseman be ready to really produce?

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  7. Boy, last nights game could have gotten away from us so easily. Had ball four been looked at, they’re loaded with nobody out. Then we are looking at using the pen in the first inning at an explosive park after using them for 5 plus innings the night before. And then we’re looking at whom to bring in from RR again! And then we’re looking at a tired pen going into the All Star break. Baseball is a great game!

    The Rangers are very quickly back where they belong. I hope we can come in and demoralize them a bit further right after the break.

    Not exited to see Bregman in the HR Derby. What good can come out of it? Can it help him lose the pop up stroke? I sure liked the line drive dinger last night. That’s the launch angle we want to see from our 3B/SS.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is interesting as to how Luhnow has structured the team payroll. Altuve is signed through 2024 (Age 34 season). His peak salary is $29,000,000. Bregman is signed through 2024 (Age 30 season) with a peak of $30 million. Correa is here through 2021 making $5 million this year. And Springer is here through 2020.

    And Verlander is signed through 2021. Reddick and Brantley are signed for next year. Yuli is $8.4 million this year but MLB Traderumors show he is a FA at the end of this year. Chirenos is signed for only this year. Ditto with Wade Miley.

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  9. Just some notes.
    -Astros used a high draft picks to get natural SS Pena in the 2018 Draft and natural SS Kessinger in the 2019 draft. Both were college shortstops.
    -Four of this year’s top 8 draft picks were center fielders.
    -Seth Beer had 4 more hits last night with a homer.
    -Springer is still set to have Reddick and Brantley on either side of him in the outfield next season. If you sign him to an extension, is he set to have Alvarez and Tucker on either side of him in 2021?
    -It will be very interesting to me to watch Jordan Brewer’s numbers in MILB.
    -The Astros signed their top 3 draft picks at a total of $650,000 under slot and then went $590,000 over slot to sign HS CFer Colin Barber, their fourth round pick.

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  10. Ian Desmond blames himself for the misplay of Reddick’s drive to dead center field last night. But, is it really Desmond’s fault? After all, Desmond is an infielder playing CF in the hardest outfield ballpark in baseball.
    Desmond has 13 errors in 198 appearances in CF in his career. Basically, you have a case of a first baseman not being able to judge a line drive hit over his head in deep CF.
    It’s sort of similar to Bellinger committing a crucial error in the first inning of Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. That was a case of an outfielder playing 1B in the most important game of his career.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very good observation, I said the same on game thread last night about Desmond. When you’re a converted infielder, like Marwin and Kemp, you may have good athletic ability, but you lack that “crack of the bat” instinct about how hard the ball’s been hit. They usually take bad routes, and like Dee Gordon in SEA, they usually find their way back to the infield for good reason.

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  11. Thoughts
    – I don’t like Bregman in the Home Run Derby – guys always have hangovers after competing including him last year
    – I don’t like not having my team play on the 4th of July – not sure if that has ever happened – but I’m sure the players are happy
    – OP, Gurriel (according to baseball-reference) makes $8.4 MM this year and in 2020 and then has one year of arbitration eligibility in 2021
    – Luhnow is signalling a lot with those drafts of what he is preparing for – he sure is a master at getting enough saved through some signings to pick up some later gems
    – daveb – I look around at what pretty darned good OFs got in free agency who were over 30 (Brantley 2yrs / $32 MM) (McCutchen 3 yrs / $50 MM with a 3 MM buyout) and I think 3 yrs / $55 MM might get it done with Springer
    – Pretty good week as the guys extend the lead from 4-1/2 over the Rangers to 8 games over the A’s
    – The big problem I see with Correa is that I think he’s a guy who wants to be in LA or NYC – and that is totally with no proof, just a sense
    – Carlos Beltran is proving to me (with his help to Gurriel) that he may have been the true genius behind the 2017 offensive bonanza by the team – too bad he could not help himself as much that season…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan, what’s on the barbecue menu today? I sure miss today’s backyard activity! If we can extend Springer for 3 years, even at 60, I’d do it in a flash. And while age might catch up, I think he’s going to get something in the 100 range for 4 or 5 years. Some one will pay that. And if he stays healthy and plays more corner outfield, he still might be a bargain.

      Like

  12. Considerations for extending Springer/Correa, replacing in-house, or acquisition.

    Outfield Prospect Projections
    2020: Alvarez, Tucker, Straw, Beer, Fisher, McCormick, Matijevic, Ferguson
    2021: Dawson, McKenna, De la Cruz

    3B/*SS/2B Projections
    2020: *Straw, Toro, Rojas, De Goti, Tanielu, *Mayfield
    2021-2022: *Nova, Pena, Santana, Enmanuel Valdez, Jonathan Arauz

    Alvarez, Beer, Matijevic, Straw, Nova, Toro can all play multiple positions.

    I think it’s a little early to say, Dan, especially seeing what this season holds. Springer is on target for a MVP-type trajectory, so how the team does and how Correa responds — there’s a lot up in the air. Both players are at peak, cornerstones. The team will probably pursue them, and let the player decide at that point in their career. I always thought Springer would retire in BOS, same as I thought McCann would go back to Atl. Correa? Good question.

    We can probably agree that we still haven’t seen peak Carlos Correa. Nova Sanatan and Pena should be ready in 2022, though, which will beg the question in 2023: what do we do with Altuve for two years?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Because of the shifts, Altuve is not asked to cover huge amounts of ground. I believe he has several good years left at 2B. I think he will switch to a lighter bat as he ages. Right now, he uses a heavier bat than Springer does.
      And just as a reply, I don’t think Seth Beer will play outfield in Houston except on rare emergency conditions. He has the bat, but not the legs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sure, for conversation-
        Seth Beer and JJ Matijevic are both suspect in OF, and will probably vie for 1B.

        But I included them in OF, because as you know they were drafted *there, and in theory the Astros may trade Reddick and/or Yuli to allow these talented bats Tucker Beer and Alvarez into the lineup, any way they can get in.

        You brought up a guy I didn’t consider though in 2021, and that’s Brewer. The other guys to think about would be to find a place for Abe Toro’s arm, and he’s blocked at 3B. He will probably play 1B if he hits (but why not try him next year in RR in OF?) And of course, the Astros will get very busy in the off season trying to turn Alvarez the hitter to Alvarez the 1B, a la, John Olerud.

        A guy that I have been watching since drafted from tiny Millersville, PA, after the Astros told him they’d draft him, then waited a year … Chas McCormick is another sleeper OF I really like to emerge this time next year. About the same time we’ll give Taylor Jones a look at 1B. Jones has far exceeded expectations, but has a big hole in his swing that was exploited in Spring Training. He will need to become more compact in that frame.

        Thinking back on “future of 1B” as AJ Reed was recently DFA’d, the fans have complained about Yuli’s lack of prototype 1B production. But the reality is Astros have rotated that position, and NEED flex at LF/DH and 1B. So, we end up putting former 3B’s White and Gurriel mostly because of their defensive flexibility. And that’s how we’ll probably approach it in the future vs trading for a Jose Abreu fixture.

        * (and I’ve read all their coaches comments on defense at Clemson & Arizona, compared to worse OF in Astros uniform Carlos Lee, Preston Tucker, etc.)

        Like

  13. I love George Springer. For a lot of reasons.
    * Because he is from the time before Luhnow got here and I love that he made it the cut and is a huge part of this team.
    * Because he’s not from your typical hot weather college baseball factory.
    * Because he’s got a stutter and is a baseball superstar. If you show his face to any baseball fan anywhere, they know who he is.
    * Because I’ve never seen him not give 100% on the field.
    * Because he was a 5 tool prospect who is a five tool player.
    * Because the Astros may not be able to afford him and I don’t care. I want to see him play in our outfield until he can’t do it anymore.
    * Because he is our one and only WSMVP.
    * Because I love his smile and when he’s not smiling it’s because he’s messing with you and laughing at you behind a straight face.
    Gimme George Springer.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Midland Centerfielder ran down a deep fly from Beer to left center to end his night. Corpus beat Midland 22-5.

      Watched a little of the Round Rock game and Jon Kemmer was DH for OKC. He is now 28 and hitting .185. His wife wrote some very interesting stories about his journey that does not look like will end in the majors.

      Like

  14. Another awesome night at Whataburger field! We have 4 season tickets. We phoned in to buy 6 additional tickets in our area and there were no available seats. We were given a suite in exchange for our regular seats and only charged $20 per seat for the additional seats. The RR game was playing on the TV in the suite and we enjoyed a great meal and great service. What awesome customer service!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I strongly advise you to look at Diamond Membership for the Hooks. You receive tickets for 70 home games at a 50% discount off of single game prices. Great seats at $700 per seat/ yr. Diamond membership also includes the following:

      Cotton Club Access
      Player Meet & Greets
      VIP Experiences
      Discount Parking Pass
      Houston Astros Tickets
      Souvenir Discounts (10% off)
      Season Member Hooks Cap
      Maximum Ticket Savings
      Seat Renewal Priority
      Flexible Ticket Exchange
      Offseason Payment Plans
      Online Management Tools
      Early Gate Entrance
      Membership Service Team
      Kleberg Bank College Classic
      World Series Partyoff

      And there are always buyers for the tickets when you can’t attend. Our tickets are behind home plate and every game that we have been unable to attend they have been sold and credited to our account.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s a pretty good initiation! As we’d say down here on island, “Big up Wes”!

        Only been there once, but a great facility. I’d certainly recommend the drive down.

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      • Agreed, it’s a fun park right under the bridge .. cool hot spots within walking distance.

        I watched Charlie Morton pitch Gm 7 vs Yanks there on Port Ave. Needless to say, I was so hoarse I could barely talk afterward.

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  15. SS Grae Kessinger was pinch hit for in last night’s game for Tri-City in the 1st inning. Don’t know anything other than there was a single to SS in the top of the 1st. Might have gotten injured?

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  16. And Nick Tanielu was the closer?? in the loss for Round Rock. The only positive was he walked none. He was in there because Guduan had already walked 2 in the 7th and Armenteros didn’t finish 2 innings.

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  17. My two cents for “what it’s worth” (Buffalo Springfield). I say get the Springer deal done. It”s obvious what he means to this ball club with the intangibles that he brings. Since he’s been back we’re 6-2 and a 5 game win streak. we can worry about CC next year or off season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately, we’re not in a position to be throwing money around right now.

      We have approx. $14M for 2020 after these come off the books; Cole McQ Rondon Smith. I think we are likely to re-sign Miley & Chirinos, and have a tough decision with Will Harris who will get paid somewhere.

      In order to have some flex, we have to trade Reddick, and/or Gurriel in the off season, unless we can work something out this season. It’s highly unlikely we’d do that unless we knew Tucker would hit for average and play same solid defense, and he is still a Super Two September guy unless it was an emergency.

      I do think Tucker will have much better results this year, but the loss of Woooo! Reddick in the clubhouse is another consideration. Instead, we’ll probably stand pat with Alvarez until rosters expand.

      Like

    • That’s rough. I’m guessing that injury was already impacting Corbin while with the big club. But better it happen now if it has to happen. He’ll have the best of technology and care working in his favor, along with his youth!

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    • My list is better, rj.

      I certainly wouldn’t have Jayson Schroeder at #15.
      Not a huge fan of Ross Adolph (he’s improving but he’s too old for QC).
      Javier is much better than 28.
      Alvarez should be #1, but I’m not going to fight it anymore. His bat will speak for itself.

      Who are they missing? A BUNCH
      Josh Rojas, Brett Conine, Brandon Bailey, Collin McKee, Luis Garcia.

      Fringe to breakthrough: McCormick, Jones, Hansen, Duarte.

      Like

      • It was mostly a wink, “my list is better.” HaHa

        But, it isn’t so much speculation actually. It shows how out of touch MLB Watch list is. Schroeder may actually be a bust, and below are a dozen pitchers who belong in his spot, given a short time. If you’d like to discuss any of those mentioned, that would be interesting.

        Did you have an opinion of any on the list? Other than it’s a crap shoot?

        Here’s one to track: who do you project to have logged more MLB innings by 2021?

        Enoli Paredes
        Cristian Javier
        Jose Urquidy

        The answer is that all of them deserve to be in same conversation, but they weren’t on MLB’s Top 30 until very recently, when those who have researched every pitch outcome for 4 years already knew middle rotation ceiling. Jairo Solis was #10 for a whole year while recovering from TJ (same as Joe Perez), but they have both been supplanted, and in retrospect should have been sooner.

        Bryan Abreu
        Nivaldo Rodriguez
        Yohan Ramirez
        Brett Conine
        Parker Mushinski
        Luis Garcia
        Jojanse Torres
        Brandon Bailey
        When healthy, these will all be promoted soon.

        Bielak has the slight edge over Paredes Javier Ivey Abreu as the next call-up to HOU if we remove more from 40-man. Considering who the Astros are targeting for Starting, and Relief Pitching trades, we have Framber James McQ all vying for resurgence in July. Peacock and Smith return.

        Carson La Rue
        Reymin Guduan
        Brady Rodgers
        Brett Adcock
        Akeem Bostick
        Brendan McCurry
        Will all most likely be let go by next year.

        Not mentioned:
        McCullers Whitley Bukauskas Armenteros Perez Solis Solomon Martes all in the mix next year.

        Rankings may be somewhat subjective, you still have to know all the data to make an educated guess.

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  18. Breg is trying hard to drive it out the park in this AB, glad he walked instead of popping out. Oh YA still amazes, Good AB.

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  19. Watching tonight with my granddaughter. She asked me with no one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd, why do the Astros continue trying to hit 3 run home runs when a single is all they need.

    I did not have an answer for her.

    Like

    • i agree dave. the ball has been flying out of the park more and more. he needs a break. and thats not speculation such as saying a player is soft and not really knowing circumstances. you can see the balls leave the park.

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  20. Dan….anytime you hear “blood disorder” it’s almost always leukemia. He has been in my prayers ever since we found out about it. Leukemia is cancer of the blood and Carlos has a long road to travel in front of him. All of us need to keep him in your hearts for grace and peace as he goes through the treatments for it.
    NOW….WHAT in the heck is going on with Verlander!!? His homeruns allowed this year is VERY alarming…..that and the fact that our guys go brain dead when they have a day off in between series. I got to see the game last night, and having two guys in scoring position with no outs, and NO ONE could even get a fly ball is unacceptable. Reminder: Game is on regular Fox tonight.

    Like

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