Dan P Gets Interviewed Again

It has been awhile, but Dan P is ready to address questions from his favorite interviewer….Dan P.

Q: The Astros built their 2015 -2019 team on mostly reasonable costs for everyday players and mostly expensive pitching. What do you see going forward?

A: The long term contracts signed by Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, plus the Brantley signing and the arbitration number for George Springer had already started swinging the cost back towards the everydays. With both the Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke contracts coming off after 2021 and the sudden influx of young pitching into the major league team, there is certainly a gut feeling that the team will be built on cheaper in-house pitching going forward.

Q: George Springer was often portrayed as the heart of the team. If he does not return, do the Astros have an emotional focus to their team?

A: Verlander will not be back. Greinke could never be that guy with his emotional “situation”. Altuve might be that guy, but not if he repeats his 2020 season. Bregman might be but in some ways he seems like the class clown more than the class president. Carlos Correa is probably that guy right now. But he is only in Houston for one more season unless something changes.

Q: What did you think of the first season under Dusty Baker?

A: I was pleasantly surprised by Dusty. Having pitcher after pitcher go down with injuries could have taken the heart out of the team. The late inning, one run losses and extra inning failures could have killed the team. But it did not. He kept the team together. He was a calm focus as the team kept sending newbies out to the mound. He stuck with his pitchers, especially Framber Valdez and the pitchers in the end were rewarding him for his confidence. There is something about a guy referencing the greats like Henry Aaron from having played with him that has to mean something to the youngsters. Or maybe it just means something to old fans.

Q: What will that OF look like?

A: It is weird to look at a depth chart and see it consists of Kyle Tucker, Myles Straw and Chas McCormick. There are even depth charts on line that show the OF as LF Kyle Tucker, CF Myles Straw and RF Kyle Tucker. That would be quite a trick. The best bet here is that the OF will be Tucker, McCormick plus a mid-level free agent, such as Robbie Grossman. That is not very exciting, but after a terrible economic year, that would seem like the way the team and this new GM is headed.

Q: Will the team bring in a veteran starting pitcher and/or reliever?

A: MLB Traderumors shows the top 50 FAs and their likely destination with the Astros picking up OF Jackie Bradley Jr.(not relevant to this discussion) and closer Brad Hand.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/11/mlb-free-agent-predictions-2021.html

Now MLB Traderumors are rarely right on their picks, but the Hand pickup would certainly be a good way to bolster this team in a hurry. As a closer, Ryan Pressly comes across as a good set-up man. Grabbing someone who is used to the role of closer and is coming off a strong 2020 season would seem to be a great use of resources.

Barring injury, it would seem like the Astros would go forward with the folks they have on hand (Lance McCullers Jr., Greinke, Jose Urquidy, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier) as far as a starting rotation goes, and fill in with youngsters like Luis Garcia when necessary. Or if they could pick up a Charlie Morton or similar cheap…. they might take on someone short term.

Q: Will the Astros be contenders in 2021?

A: Sure, why not?

34 comments on “Dan P Gets Interviewed Again

  1. To me it’s time to circle the Astro wagon. It seems Springer does not want to remain in Houston. If that is true, so be it and best of luck ever being in a fan base that cheered him like Astro fans have in his tenure here. The team gets a much needed draft pick and more space within their budget. I will miss his heroic moments and positive personality, but not his many slumps and time missed because of injury. Again, good luck and don’t let the door hit you. To me, I would make Brantley a reasonable 2 year offer, if he accepts, good, if not, I would bite the bullet and not reach out to these available , but mediocre free agent outfielders. I n thinking long term, hopefully we can get the young Cuban signed and give him every opportunity this spring, Then go with what we have in house. This might then relegate a year in which the Astros will come up short again to Tampa or the Yankees. But, I would then try mightily to extend Lance and give Carlos a long and expensive extension. After this season, he’s made a believer in me, not only for his talent, but his leadership. Spend our other possible money on pitching

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some solid thoughts Larry. The one I have mixed thoughts on is Lance. When he’s good he can be very very good, but I hate that an error or an umps call can set him off.
      I would try to get Brantley back – not sure his interest level.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Javier is right there with ’em in WAR!
      Now that is amazing, especially considering Luis Robert was $26,000,000 That’s million, and Lewis was $3,286,700.

      Meanwhile, Cristian Javier was plucked for a 2008 Avalon ($10,000).

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Here, let’s lay this out plainly. Y’all take a guess and fill out your lineup card.
    Pick the pitchers you want to get, like Yates Hand or Treinen. Go for a big bat in the outfield. Be the GM for a Day.

    Astros have to fit 40.
    Here are the current listed 37!
    Abreu Armenteros Bailey Bielak Castellanos Garcia Greink James Javier LMJ Paredes Perez Press Pruitt Raley Rodriguez Scrubb [Smith] Sneed Taylor Urq Valdez Verlander Maldy Stubbs Tuve Bregs CC Diaz Yuli Jones Mayfield Toro Yordan Chas Straw Tucker (37)

    These are the Rule 5 Must-Haves We absolutely will lose if not roster’d;
    1. Whitley
    2. Solis
    3. Ivey
    4. Solomon
    5. Nova
    6. Rivera (perhaps debatable but this kid comes HIGHLY recommended)

    Subtract 3 “On the Bubble” to Make Room, then 3 more if we want to bring in Starter + Reliever + Outfielder. I’m thinking we don’t have to add Leon until call up.

    Mayfield, Jones, Bailey, Armenteros, Sneed, Castellanos, Nivaldo Rodriguez (James Pruitt). Anyone else you can see that we can/should demote?

    What stinks about this to me is that it pushes Torres and Conine back. What likely will happen though is injury to pitchers by Spring, and the Sneed Armenteros losses will be felt in Depth we lose!

    Like

    • I think Verlander is a possibility here as old pro had mentioned previously. I love the guy but if he is not going to pitch in 2021 what is the point?

      Like

      • Hmm, it’s my understanding you cannot just DFA a guy you have signed?

        At any rate, any other suggestions? What about Smith? We have to “take a guess” not only if heart is in it, but if he’ll be game-ready? Why not package trade him toCali team?
        Pitchers, catchers?

        Astros *DID* sign Bryan De la Cruz to a Minor League Contract per B/A. That tells me they’re fortifying from within with McCormick. I’d like to find my oldest comment on him, because I was never a fan of the OF MLB was touting in Jan 2019 (Adolph McKenna Stevenson) — they were SO wrong.

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  3. Does anyone have any hard information on Springer right now? All I’m seeing are things that fit into the following categories:
    1. Rumors from non-credible people on the internet that he wants nothing to do with a Houston return.
    2. Fans from Chicago, NY, KC, STL, and every team other than LA lusting after him and saying their team should sign him to a 4 year deal.
    3. People complaining about the cheating scandal.

    I even logged into twitter for the first time in probably three years (on election day no less…) searching for credible journalists with something to say. I think he’s going to leave, but that’s my best guess without inside information and based on the fact that there are a few teams it will make sense to pay him eight figures more than the Astros could likely offer. The thing is he’s been a class act the entire time he’s been in the organization. I can’t think of another player who has made it clear how excited he was to be part of those teams in Houston. I don’t begrudge him the opportunity to leave. If he does leave, I hope he comes out and makes it clear that Crane and his front office keeping him in the minors longer than necessary as a business decision came back to bite them. But that’s just my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • IN a word, no not a grudge.

      I’d say it boils down to the 5th year and Springer wanting to be closer to home. NYM reunion with Jake? They move on from Cespedes..

      Like Morton and the Rays not picking up that 3rd year, Astros dont want to pay 25+ AAV that long when we have prospects online, and trade/FA flexibility. I think it’s pretty clear.

      It was clear to me in July when Springer was asked (the guys were playing a broadcast game of Fortnite, and Alex Bregman asked him, silence followed by laughter). Like Cole asked in Spring Training after JV and Bregs extended, “we havent even talked about it”. Simply doesn’t fit into our plans.

      What could work is a 3-yr 70 million, but he won’t take that (just a guess). That would fit our team needs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My guess is that George won’t be back, but indeed Zanuda, there is no evidence of his direction one way or the other. Even after the local ESPN guy made his twitter post, none of the big guys at ESPN came back and added any knowledge to the claim. It is all speculation. I think the Astros can move on and be a quality team without George. I also recollect that Crane pretty much talked Luhnow into doing the Greinke deal when the GM was ready to move on from it. One thing I think we can agree on is that this super secret organization has surprised all of us from time to time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i look at what we have and it seems the lineup needs more help than the pitching. springer turns down the qo because he knows he can get multiple years and security somewhere. why not here? he loves the stros and he is the bat we need to shore up the lineup. it will be tough budget wise this coming year but crane has shown a tolerance for pushing the budget. after next year loads of money comes off the budget, so its one year thats gonna be tough. i dont think its a done deal that correa leaves after next year either. arguably the best ss in baseball AND can hit. and again lots of money comes off before you have to sign him. you talk about soul of the team, who is more so than springer and correa. we have all kinds of young pitching ready or near ready, so there arent TOO many more moves that are needed, at least not critical ones.

    Liked by 1 person

      • You know daveb / rj – What is coming up for the “cheap” pitching reminds me of something.
        Let me throw out one number – $13.2 MM
        What is that? Well that is how much the Astros paid out in salaries in 2017 to Jose Altuve ($4.5MM), George Springer ($3.9 MM), Marwin Gonzalez ($3.7 MM), Alex Bregman ($540 K) and Carlos Correa ($540 K). Man what a bargain!
        We could see a similar situation with the pitching in 2022.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. one way to ease the money situation without hurting the team much would be to trade greinke and his salary. who would you rather have springer or greinke. easy choice for me

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  6. I don’t think we would trade Greinke unless at the trade deadline next summer we are out of the playoff race.

    I think we add a FA bullpen pitcher or two.

    I think we would replace Springer & Brantley with a cheaper FA outfielder and Aledmys/McCormick/Straw/Leon.

    Then if our budget outfield above does not produce and we are in the playoff race at the trade deadline we use our minor league pitchers to trade for a hitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Gold Glove winners were announced last night and the Astros were shut out. I looked at the stats (Fielding % and DWAR) and wonder how the decisions were made. What a crock! Correa led in both categories and didn’t win, same for Maldonado (how did R perez win? only played 32 games). Comments?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I figured any thing with the Astros brand on it will have problems winning anything for awhile as unofficial punishment
      Correa was tremendous this season – it is hard to picture anyone outperforming him in the field. Maldonado in his own way was terrific handling a huge set of inexperienced pitchers

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes very few people know that the Astros used trash banging to help their fielders. One bang run to your right. Two bangs run to your left.
        Where is that sarcasm font when you need it…..

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  8. The thought that any Astros player would get a GG never entered my mind. If there was an All-star game no Astros player would have been voted in and they would have ended up with one player on the AS team and that would have been a player who wasn’t on the team in 2017.
    This is just one of the ramifications of the scandal and there isn’t any recourse to it. It’s one of the things we, as Astros fans, are going to have to deal with.
    The Astros need to suck it up and find young players to replace the guys who are leaving and who are going to leave.
    In my opinion, it is important for the Astros to develop a new persona and a new reputation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The gold gloves were chosen differently in 2020 than in other years. Normally it’s voting from the coaches around the league with 25% of the outcome additionally coming from a combination of two calculated metrics. This year, those two metrics were responsible for 100% of the determination. We could probably have an argument over the merits of the measurements and weighting given to those metrics that would have rivaled anything from politics last night. It’s surprising to me that JP Crawford went from being awful in 2019 to winning the award in 2020. It would not surprise me to see Correa be excellent in 2021 and Crawford regress. It would shock me to see Tucker be rated so highly again in 2021, but I have to say he improved over the course of the season and if we can put someone competent in CF next season we should see Tucker continue to grow as a fielder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Defensive metrics have never really impressed me. Unfortunately, during the 2020 60 game exhibition season, no manager had a chance to watch most guys play. So I can understand why the award was given based on metrics alone. But we watched all the games. We know what Correa does. And we also know what Tucker does not do. So it’s a dookie award anyway unless a guy has a performance clause that pays for that Gold Glove. If Carlos lost money that way, well then it’s payback.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I need to vent;
    -New medicine for the wife. There are some promising things I am observing from her demeanor.
    – After a deflating night and morning I am determined to change my life to match and blend with the impending dark winter. I did laundry and also processed some of my first deer of the season, this AM.
    -Weened my calf off it’s mom and now will let it feed just a while and instead of paying for expensive feed for months and then paying for the butchering, I am going to take him to the sale barn and use that money to buy beef for the rest of the year and I will dedicate the freezer to free venison. All my tags and licenses are free because I have a lifetime license.
    -Three of my granddaughters are in quarantine on our farm. Mom and I have to be careful.
    -Our neighbor bought a show steer for his grandson to show. It is really nice! But, Grandson doesn’t want to show anymore, so his grandpa called us up and offered the steer to our granddaughter to show for free and she gets to keep the prize if he wins. This girl will now be showing two steers, three heifers and a show goat, at County Fair, if there is a County Fair next spring. The other grandaughter is showing two sheep and a heifer. The other granddaughter, who is nine, will show a steer and two heifers and a goat.
    – The momma cows have been moved close to feed hay to them for the winter. They are all bred back. That feed pen is ten acres about 100 yards downwind from our house.
    -All their calves have been sold.
    -Rifle season starts on Saturday Nov 21st. Two weeks and three weekends.
    – Grampa is ready.

    Liked by 1 person

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