What the Michael Brantley signing may mean for Pedro Leon

After a relatively quiet off-season for the Astros with the signing of a couple of smaller name relievers, Ryne Stanek and Pedro Baez, being the early highlight, things have picked up since the onset of the international signing period on January 15.

Since that point – the following have happened in quick succession:

  • The Astros made an expected big splash when they signed 22-year-old OF Pedro Leon out of Cuba, who had long been connected to the Astros as a landing spot after defecting in 2019.
  • OF George Springer signed a 6 yr / $150 MM contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, officially ending any chance of his returning to the Astros.
  • The Astros came to an agreement with catcher Jason Castro on a 2 yr/ $7 MM deal to return to the organization that drafted him and where he originally played in the majors.
  • The Astros designated pitcher Humberto Castellanos for assignment to open up a spot for Castro on the 40 man roster.
  • The Blue Jays “reportedly” came to an agreement with OF Michael Brantley on a 3 year deal, pairing him up with his good friend Springer. Before the day was complete, the Blue Jays released a statement that no such agreement with Brantley was in place.
  • “Sources” stated that the Astros had come to an agreement with Brantley on a 2 yr/ $32 MM deal, identical to the one he so ably fulfilled in 2019 and 2020.
  • The Astros traded Cionel Perez to the Reds for minor league catcher Luke Berryhill, again opening a spot on the 40 man roster which is assumed to be set aside for the official re-signing of Brantley.

The re-signing of Michael Brantley looms as a huge gap filler as frankly the only sure thing in the outfield at this point is Kyle Tucker, who was a breakout starter in the shortened 2020 season. The 4th OF spot vacated by Josh Reddick‘s free agency is likely going to be filled by Myles Straw or Chas McCormick. But the question still facing the Astros is how to fill the Grand Canyon created by the loss of Springer.

One school of thought is that the return of Brantley allows the organization to slowly bring along uber-prospect Pedro Leon, who last played in the Cuban National Series League (approx. equivalent to AAA) in 2019 putting up a .383 BA/ .467 OBP/ 1.256 OPS slash with 15 HRs and 36 RBIs in 33 games. This is the same league that Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez played in when they were in Cuba. It would make some sense to let him get his feet wet in the American minor leagues for a year and then contend for a spot heading into the 2022 season.

However, there is another way to look at this. The return of Brantley gives the Astros a very solid top 7 to their batting order with Jose Altuve, Brantley, Alex Bregman, Alvarez, Carlos Correa, Tucker and Gurriel. The eighth spot would be in the hands of catchers Martin Maldonado and Castro, who would be expected to provide average catcher offensive production. So, looking at this another way, this would seem to allow for adding someone with a big upside like Leon to a lineup that should be able to carry an inexperienced hitter.

The safe thing would be to let him age a bit on the vine. But look at some of the success stories from 2020 for the Astros. Cristian Javier leapt up and grabbed a rotation spot after only 11 innings at AAA. Blake Taylor was the main lefty out of the bullpen after 11.1 innings at AAA. Both Enoli Paredes and Andre Scrubb pitched significant innings out of the bullpen with no experience above AA. Luis Garcia looked good and he never pitched above A+ level.

Does that mean that Leon will produce well with minimal minor league experience? Will he struggle like some of the other inexperienced pitchers the Astros brought up like Humberto Castellanos, Nivaldo Rodriguez and Carlos Sanabria? Sure, the Astros debuted a ton of pitchers in 2020 due to need as much as anything else. However, they only made one minor trade to pick up Brooks Raley when they were faced with a shortage of pitchers due to COVID and injuries. They showed no hesitation in bringing up players with talent, yet lacking experience…..like Pedro Leon.

That does not mean that Leon would have to be on the roster immediately out of spring training, but he should be on speed dial.

So, do you think that bringing Brantley back allows the Astros to delay the promotion of Pedro Leon or hasten it?

76 comments on “What the Michael Brantley signing may mean for Pedro Leon

  1. Yankees send reliever Adam Ottavino and reportedly most of his salary to the Red Sox. Strange seeing them dealing with their closest rivals there though it has happened before….

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  2. I think Leon’s fate will be influenced on how well he does in Spring Training. If he does well, I don’t think they hesitate to add him, or put him on speed-dial. ALSO depends on how McCormick does. Straw would be a great 4th OF’r. I watched Yordan at Spring Training twice and he showed he belonged…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome Eric – are you a new poster or someone who posted under a different name previously?
      Yordan had to be fun to watch up close in Spring Training.
      Straw needs to get that on base percentage back up there, though why he shouldn’t get a mulligan for 2020 after we already gave one to Yuli, Jose and Alex …… he did show a lot more in his previous seasons.

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      • Not knowing Eric for sure, I’ve been active getting word out in add’t to what I’d mentioned before on twitter. Nice to see new names, as always..

        That was a spot-on comment too. Especially Chazzy.

        The byline on Leon is he needs 400 MiLB ab’s, but that is relative. International is truly harder to judge than Amateur Draft because the comps are so well-known in colleges here, but not so much in Cuba or other leagues. That is, well-known to fans. The scouts and their stories always indicate really digging to find some of these guys. And when they make good for pennies on the dollar, our scouts look like geniuses. I’m thinking of one player particularly, and think it’s Javier (read about his scouting story).

        What’s one of my posts without a dave dig? Hey, dave what else is going on with your favorite team? Do you expect the Yankees to have a great season? [wink]

        Liked by 1 person

      • As always – thanks GoStros for spreading the word. I am not a “social media” person – I know that would help, but just not where I am at (I’m old and stuck in my ways).
        And leave daveb alone…. when the nuclear holocaust hits here, we need some place to sail to for escape….

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      • Heck, I missed the Dave dig even if I wrote it. I must be getting subtle. I keep thinking back to Yuli only playing in 15 minor league games before making his MLB debut. Course he does have a decade of experience on Leon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Op, Millsy put the “y” on everyone’s name.

        But just FYI, McCormick’s twitter handle is @chazzyfizzz.

        Excellent point, Dan, dave is going to host us all one day. I need to practice my diplomacy!

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      • Hey Dan, new poster, but I’m 60 and followed the Astros since 1965 when I was a little kid at the Astrodome. I don’t post much on these Astros-related sites, but occasionally. I do read them daily. The whole Spring Training experience in West Palm Beach and the other nearby fields was absolutely amazing, and I went 3 years in a row, although last year doesn’t count as although I had tix and went, they cancelled everything. My daughter is a Sports Media-related major in college, and another diehard Astros fan, so I brought her there. It was the time of my life, and in 2018 and 2019 we definitely enjoyed Yordan upclose. Got to see all the prospects up close , including Whitley of course, and all the veterans. Other than catching a few Astros games in person at various parks each year, I’d always look forward to watching the Tri-City Valleycats each year when they played the Lake Monsters in Burlington, plus we took trips to Troy to see them.. They’re gone, and that’s such a bummer for us. Anyway, I know it wouldn’t be really precedented with Leon getting called up without his 400 ab’s in AA/AAA, BUT I just have this feeling that IF he shows he ‘belongs’ in Spring Training , and then starts off well in the minors, I think he gets called up quickly due to Yuli being on the team this year. I think Yuli coming from such a famous Cuban baseball family , will serve as quite a mentor for the young Cuban, and I think that’ll be a good thing. . Eric

        Liked by 4 people

      • Good to hear from you Dr. Bill – it has been awhile. I am torn on whether Straw or Marisnick would be better for us. 2020 versions favor Jake. 2019 favors Myles.

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      • Oops the Dr. Bill comment went in the wrong spot

        Eric – sounds so great to make those trips to Spring Training. What did you see of and think of young Whitley, who feels like the Bridge too Far.

        So, I take it you are way up in Vermont or Upper New York. Glad to hear from you.

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      • Thank you Dan, I’m very sensitive. Wouldn’t that be a hoot, all you knuckleheads down here at the same time. Don’t worry about diplomacy GS1, I don’t want anyone to act out of character….smile emoji….

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  3. I don’t think the Brantley signing will have a real impact either way. I’m not sure I’m fully clear on the rules, but so far anyway, the MLB and AAA guys will go to Florida on schedule. I’ve got to figure Leon will be there. And if he has a solid spring, he should be going to Sugarland. But who knows. If he has a heck of a spring, maybe he goes straight to Minute Maid. If he’s overmatched, then he’ll hang around in Florida and get to work with the AA and A guys.

    Totally separately, it seems the Yankees will use Giancarlo Stanton as their full time DH this year. Although he’s got a lifetime WAR of 41.0, only 5.2 of that has come as a Yankee. Assuming New York buys him out for 10 million in 2028, they will have paid him about 198 million for his services. That’s a lot of money for a DH. I wonder what we do with Alvarez in 5 years?

    Liked by 2 people

    • What an amazing comment! I concur with the first part and am amazed at the clarity of thinking in the second.
      Wouldn’t it be amazing if somehow the Yankees did not win the AL pennant again in 2021?
      Their #2, 3 and 5 starters didn’t pitch last season, are all coming off TJ surgery and are going to go out there and crush it, according to their projections.
      All five of the Astros starters are healthy, they all pitched down the stretch and in the playoffs and are going to regress, according to their projections.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Personally, I like my Okra fried after it been dipped in a milk and egg batter and rolled in a seasoned cornmeal. It goes great with a big slab of meatloaf and green beans with a generous ladle of gravy. I made some once for my friends from Chicago and it didn’t quite appeal to them. They referred to it as the “fuzzy fruit”.

        I’m glad we got Brantley back but a little surprised that he got the same deal as before. Maybe he was insulted at the alleged Blue Jay offer and wanted to see what we would do. If Leon is all that he purports to be then let him play. If he isn’t ready, I supposed we’ll implement the Straw/McCormick tandem and see what happens. I am getting a little antsy waiting for Spring Training.

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      • Yeah Zanuda, you’ve got to have the mashed potatoes and gravy with meatloaf. Essential. I just think turning the okra into a French fry is a bit of a cop out, although delicious.

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  4. Let’s see –
    Pedro Leon will turn 23 in May of this year….
    Altuve debuted shortly after turning 21.
    Bregman debuted at 22
    Alvarez debuted right before he turned 22
    Tucker debuted at 21 and he was 23 last season
    Javier debuted at 23

    Just saying that really good players are ready early.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another good point.

      I just want to reiterate, I’m not down on Leon as much as I’m hi on the other guys. Being that I’ve been following since draft, and all.

      In the end, looks like we have solid depth if Straw doesn’t switch gears. Leon, Siri, Chas, BDLC, Meyers and even Dawson can play. None will be The Answer, but I’ve seen them compete against their peers enough to know they can hold their own.

      One of the things that gives me confidence is when you watch all the minors, it’s often very different from the box score. These guys separate themselves by hitting when the game is on the line. Might be 1-4, but that one sure made the difference. These guys all seemed to “be there” every night contributing. As soon as I write this, the 1st guy who comes to mind is Kessinger. Not flashy but a gamer whose always mixing it up.

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    • Can’t figure out how to ‘reply’ to the question you asked me on the other post, but yes, we live in Vermont in the Burlington area. Closest place I can see the Astros play each year is Fenway 🙂 As for what I thought of Whitley, we watched him a lot doing bullpens. I’ve beeb a big Javier fan to be honest. I thought Whitley’s fastball was too straight, and he just hasn’t been consistent enough in games up to this point. I sure hope something changes this year, and he’s healthy phsically, mentally and can put it all together. . However I’m really high on lots of other young pitching talent we have. I’m not high on our young outfield talent though but we shall see! Can’t wait for spring training and the season to begin

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it would be much more difficult for a hitter to burst on the scene than a pitcher but I do think Brantley’s signing opens the door for Leon sooner rather than later and makes signing anything other than a stop gap CF problematic. I don’t see any way the Astros would go after Jackie Bradley for instance but Jake on a one or two year deal might be enticing if Straw isn’t ready. However Straw is so cheap compared even to Jake that I see the Astros giving him every opportunity in ST and looking to fill from outside only if he falls flat on his face. I haven’t heard much about Leon’s defensive prowess and would be curious if anyone has insights regarding that.

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    • Solid!

      Age – 22 5’10” 180 lbs. B/T: R/R

      A mature approach at the plate w/o much swing & miss & plus power to all fields. He’s also get the speed, arm, & defense to stay in center. [Op has noted, In 33 games in Series Nacional in ’18, he hit .371, 1.220 OPS, 15 HR, 7 SB]

      -Matthew Selz, MLB Prospect and DFS writer

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    • Good to hear from you Dr. Bill – it has been awhile. I am torn on whether Straw or Marisnick would be better for us. 2020 versions favor Jake. 2019 favors Myles.

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      • Ship has sailed for me. If we wanted him in any shape or fashion, we wouldn’t have let him go just to save $2.5m or whatever league minimum was in the difference. We would have offloaded the prospects we now have and just stuck with him. Instead, we struck gold with Blake Taylor, and this time around, we are loaded in the OF.

        So weird that people forget he gave us 80, and 81 OPS+(worse than Straw’s ’19 numbers) in successive yrs when all he had to do was hit .250! He’s a plus plus defender, but we have really good one’s now. Also by bringing him back you retard the progress of these 5 guys…

        The big plus is Jake Days, chicks really dig him. Are we even going to have to worry about filling the stadium though, if there’s this scourge o’erhanging? I can only speak for myself and say, I’m not attending games — has nothing to do with coronavirus, but the crazy things (pods, distancing) they’re implementing. I’d rather go to Sugar Land, open air, and relax. You guys can have my MMP tix.

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      • Re Jake, I’m guilty as charged. I used to stand here pleading over and over that there is no room on a ML roster for a guy that hits, or doesn’t hit like Jake doesn’t hit. I’ve also gone the other way on Straw too. I think he might provide a bit more offense than Jake, but I’m not impressed with his work in the outfield. So with our strong lineup, yeah, I’d take Jake for a year, but not two, because I know what he’ll provide defensively. And if Leon insists on owning the job, Jake might be the best late inning outfielder in the league.

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  6. There are too many variables up in the air. I think the Brantley signing all but assures that Leon starts the season in the minors, but let’s get back to that. If they only had Tucker in the outfield and were choosing between the Straw/McCormick/Diaz/? players for the other spots I’d say there was an outside shot an impressive showing in Florida would earn him a spot. I say that because this has to be a year they make every effort to win. Now that Brantley is in the fold, you would expect they hope that Straw can play enough CF to give Leon a chance to visit Corpus for a month before driving up to Sugarland.

    I’m uncertain what to expect from the minors this year. We have the Grapefruit league asking Manfred to delay everything a month. If minor league ball won’t start until June then you could see the Astros decide to gamble. I kind of doubt it due to the financial disaster it would be to start Leon out at the big league level early and then have to send him down for seasoning…but like I said, with the losses to our roster expected after the 2021 season they need to put every effort towards winning as it may be their last legitimate chance for awhile.

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  7. Source: Cuban OF/INF Norel González (26) has signed a contract with the Houston Astros. Gonzalez will start at the Double-A level. Big bat with great contact and power. His slash line in 5 seasons in the Cuban League was .315/.395/.457. He left Cuba in July 2019. pic.twitter.com/He3CudsOVv

    — Francys Romero (@francysromero10) January 25, 2021

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting. He is a first baseman/left fielder with a LH bat. He always showed power as a young player, but Cuban players are encouraged to hit for average and cut down their swings.

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  8. I don’t think the Brantley signing will affect Leon. If Leon plays well in Spring Training then he should be up with the Astros. If he struggles, in ST, then let him get experience in the minors.

    I don’t think we need Jake. Let Leon, Straw, McCormick, Siri, etc. battle for the remaining OF spots.

    What if they all struggle? I don’t think that is likely but I wonder if they would put Tucker in CF, Brantley in RF and Aledmys in LF?

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    • A long season, several should see some time and sort themselves out. Most all play CF except Diaz imo.

      Tucker has an average-ish arm, but we still have Correa with Howitzer on cut-offs. With Tuck he’d just have to run out a little farther than with George.

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  9. This is a fun post. Let’s me revisit this question..
    If the price were right, 2022 monies are freed up, would you offer Zack 2 more years? Have no idea what that price would be and I doubt any team would pay his present salary, but I would definitely talk about it! Watching him work is so unique.

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    • OK. Since we are having fun I will bite on your hook.
      If Greinke were to have a good year in 2021, and if one or two young pitchers that I was depending on for 2022 were to not have good years in 2021(I’m talkin about you, Forrest!) I would offer to discuss a deal with Greinke.
      It would be with a reasonable guarantee and incentives in alignment with a pitcher of his age. one year plus an option with a buyout.
      The more I type, the more I think about the Verlander extension disaster.

      Liked by 1 person

      • But Greinke pitches, and Verlander throws.
        I’m thinking Greinke has a few yrs in him, just as JV with a new arm.
        I know Strom loves Greinke –how about a package deal?!

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      • I see what you mean Sarge.
        Even so, Astros can only pay so much for Correa. If he wants the world, we’re not doing it. My hope is that with this young core, he’ll just make the deal with us and not make the wait so painful. Also, if he doesn’t decide sooner than later himself, and Pena rakes in Sugar Land, the decision will be made FOR him.
        On that note, I wish I knew a secondary position Pena can play bc if CC re-signs what do we do with #4 prospect?

        I’d lay it out like this:
        CC .280./.345/.510 22 HR
        Pena .280/.325/.400 16 HR

        Is that really worth $25 million more per year?

        I was just guessing but this is CC’s career line .276/.353/.480

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      • Your expectations for Pena are wildly different than mine. The answer, however, is that if Pena is capable of putting up that line while still playing acceptable defense you have the option to trade him and his inexpensive contract for a very high return and plug multiple other holes in the lineup. If you decide not to resign Correa because you want to save the money you have the option of spending it elsewhere, but are not guaranteed to have the players you covet accept your offers during free agency. What if we saved the money from Correa but then went and wasted it by signing two guys like Jackie Bradley, Jr.?

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      • Devin, its a slow day. Let’s chat. Apologies it’s long-winded and doesn’t leave open-ended much for discussion, but looking for clarification, I suppose this could be an article idea.

        You’re saying you don’t expect Pena high ceiling projection, yet if he does realize it, we could play him then trade him? To begin, Jeremy Pena is not going to start in HOU until he has mastered AAA, so to accept this hypothetical initially, one assumes he has supplanted Correa in planning stages ahead.

        [I have to interject here, why would Luhhnow draft Nova Lorenzo Kessinger; and Cook draft Whitcomb if they didn’t foresee need for contingencies?]

        You’re losing me on “acceptable defense.” Pena is a 60 fielder with 50 arm, the top SS glove in his draft class. 2014 grade on CC was 50 Field, 70 Arm. I will say Pena power has increased since orig. 40 grade, and given his weight / strength gains, the arm is likely to show 55.

        Next, you write what if we save the money and sign 2 guys like JBJ? Do you mean decide not to pay Correa and … trade him? Or decide not to offer the FA? That’s in ’22 season, and Bradley, Jr will have been wrapped up by then. Not that I have an iota of interest in him.

        You didn’t answer the equation of the question in the 1st place. Is what ever amount of production difference you project worth $25m? Here, then Pena .219/.286/.344? Did you think that was remotely possible for Altuve before the 2020 season? Only a guy like Jose would you stick with after that line, mainly because you know he’s put up larger samples. And then again, what choice does HOU have but to play him since he’s currently over-priced. This point is exactly why we would consider trading Correa now for the prospects return vs 4th round; and because a contract that retires Correa here is likely to be upside-down near the end of a 5-7 yr deal.

        We wouldn’t realize near the return on Pena unless we play him professionally, so the only real question is, where else can we find a place for Pena to play if he crushes SL, and we are progressing in extension talks with CC throughout the season? My leaning here is that if there’s not an understanding prior to season beginning, all teams will start to think thru their plan to acquire him.

        Being that Lindor Story Seager come out this year — Semien was expected to sign a l/t deal that has yet to materialize, and Andrelton Simmons may not get a multi-yr deal, further flooding market post’21 — the situation without a deal in place for CC may work out like Springer, or Brantley in terms of them testing market, with HOU as still a possible destination. Astros as a strategy could put their best foot forward and wait for Correa to come back if he’s like Brantley, or walk like Georgie. That probably won’t happen because we’ll offer a QO, and he’ll either sign if Beltran lands on feet, or seek other big city lights/endorsements he’ll never get in Houston.

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      • Sure, I’ll try to be longer winded to make it clear. The starting point is the assumption Correa plays 2021 in HOU and the FO then has the choice to resign him (scenario A) or allow him to leave with only a QO in return (scenario B).

        In scenario A, we pay Correa somewhere in the neighborhood of $30M annually. It may start lower and escalate later on. I’m just picking a number for convenience though. You then have to fill additional holes in the roster and may be squeezed on budget to do so. If we assume your projection for Pena is correct, someone will pony up multiple pieces in a trade.

        In scenario B, you take the QO and hand over duties to Pena. You then use the ~$30M in the FA market or to keep other players who are with HOU in 2021 for longer. Going after low hanging fruit, the free agent signings thus far would have allowed you to get Liam Hendricks + James McCann together for that amount. If Pena needs more seasoning in 2022 this can still be an option, but makes the loss of Correa more of an immediate problem.

        Quite frankly, Pena’s defensive numbers look like what I would expect from a minor league shortstop. Nothing stands out one way or the other except for the fact he’s played at slightly younger than league average thus far. Offensively he has performed better than I expected based on his college resume albeit with no power to speak of. Apparently he’s been adding bulk to his frame to try to change that. Regardless, going to your predicted 16HR is a pretty large jump.

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      • With a surfeit of SS around the league, I don’t see teams ponying up Pena’s worth without our playing him in HOU for a year. Else he goes the path of Laureano, and Davis of what could have been.

        I’m imagining it won’t come down to AAV, but years for CC.

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      • He started working on his swing a year ago and it showed significant improvement. This winter he hit .280 in the DOWL and .280 in the playoffs with a lot of power. Power is something you will never get from Straw and everything I have read says Siri is a better fielder with a better arm and plus speed. I’m hoping he finally delivers on his promise of good tools. He is 25.

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  10. Brantley told Chandler Rome that he returned to Houston because they have “unfinished business”.
    I think that with Brantley in LF and Tucker in RF, the Astros will try to put the best fielder they have in between them.

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    • Hometown kid from Klein Collins. Doesn’t strikeout a lot.
      Along with Pruitt, I think this is a great idea to bring these guys home.

      I see him as a replacement for having lost Tanielu, and it sure pushes harder on Duarte, De Goti and Sierra windows to take the next step that I don’t think will ever happen. Pointing to the chasm that exists for so many from AAA to MLB, for which AJ Reed was the posterboy.

      On a different subject, I saw that David Price of the Dodgers (may be an old story) gave each minor leaguer $1,000 month before he ever started pitching for them during the corona break. Every team has that going on, like Marisnick buying Tyler White a tux for Kemp’s wedding. Dodgers really needed the new blood in there — got rid of Verdugo, brought in Mookie and Andrew Friedman, culture change. They’re going to be a juggernaut for yrs to come..

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  11. Watching video on this Cuban, reminds me a lot of Jojanse Torres.

    Incidentally, on Torres, he grew up just a few miles south of the Astros Dominican facility. His last work was in Ariz Fall League where had 16 K’s in 8 innings. He K’d Springer Altuve & Bregman in the 2nd spring training last year to finish his “season”. If he didn’t have another year to burn and the Astros being so full, he’d definitely be in the running this yr with 100 mph and wicked off speed stuff. It’s easy to forget just how many of these are lying in wait!

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  12. Dan P’s best guess is that the Astros will now stay very quiet and maybe pick up a bargain or two right before or during spring training…..

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  13. Devin asked before about Rosario and Correa.

    The apparent lack of interest for Rosario is intriguing. I would think all it would take is 2/$18m.

    I forget who reported Astros have ~20m tax space? Yet Click public reports are they’ve done all the heavy lifting they’re likely to do. I’m firmly in the camp that OF is set, and no speculation on Eddie seems like a perfect example of that fact.

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  14. Not that we were in this hunt anymore (or ever) but catcher JT Realmuto re-signed with the Phillies – 5 years approx. $115 MM – with 20 MM the first year and about 24 MM the other four. And they act like it is a bit of a bargain…..

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  15. Simmons and Semien and Galvez all sign one year deals. That means that those three could join Correa, Baez, Lindor, Story and Corey Seager in a huge class of outstanding free agent shortstops at the end of the year, a year that has the MLBPA going up against MLB owners for a new CBA.
    It is going to be some offseason.

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  16. Not sure this will post, but the Cuban League expert has echoed the assessment on Leon’s ETA. One of the things he mentioned in the last 5 yrs about the league is the erosion (defection) of Cuban pitching, which he claims benefitted Pedro. He said he’d be surprised if Leon debuts this season because he’s lost some valuable development time.

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  17. For me it says, “This content is not available in your country”, so the Cuban League expert does not count! If there has been an erosion of pitching in Cuba though, well then that is a real consideration.

    It occurred to me last night that we’ve had Jose Altuve with us for a decade now. Time flies. He’s likely be gone in four years when his contract is up. So even if Correa signs a six or seven year deal with the Astros,(I hope not, as I’m still not convinced he wants to play 150 games a year) guys like Jeremy Pena are essential to have in the system. Besides short, he’s played plenty of second base.

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    • I was looking the other day at Biggio. He went from a $9.750 million contract to $3 million and stayed in Houston for 4 more years. Craig was 37. Altuve will be 35 at the end of his contract. He might be willing to take a pay cut to stay. I doubt anyone is willing to pay him a multi-year contract.

      However, the days of Walter Alston are gone. He was supposed to have signed all one year contract for a two dozen years while they were blank and let the Dodgers fill in the amount later. Cute story about him. “he dealt originally with former General Manager Buzzie Bavasi.

      ”At first Bavasi used to call me sometime after the season, offer me a new contract and I’d sign,” Alston explained. ”This went on for years. Then one season I guess he forgot, because I know he got a telephone call from the National League office saying that if I wasn’t signed within 48 hours, I wouldn’t be eligible to sit in the dugout at the start of the season.”

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  18. I’m still not convinced the Astros are done with their team. I think if they have access to a player who will improve their team in an area like the outfield or their bullpen for something in the area of $2-3 million, then they will do that.
    If you do that, you are not only making an improvement, you may also be improving your depth.

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    • I was hoping for the last few months they could get Colas.
      Then I heard Colas was going to wait till next year to sign.
      Then I saw that the White Sox were the favorite.
      Then I realized he could be that guy who is the equivalent of a first round pick for next year that the Stros could pay a premium for.

      Like

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