Astros: Seven Free Agents, Plus One

As I wrote in the comments the other day (which seems like a week ago at this point), the plan was to write a World Series wrap-up and then move on to discuss the Astros’ free agents with the deadline for making a qualifying offer only a few days away.

Well, something unusual happened on the way to the forum. I sat down to write the WS wrap-up and nothing happened. I went to the well and the well is as dry as Zack Greinke’s sense of humor. So, Plan B is to tackle the second topic and return to the World Series at some future date. You can’t fight Mother Nature or writer’s block.

A friend of the blog, Old Pro, pointed out the Astros have seven players who became free agents after the World Series, Kendall Graveman, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Brooks Raley, Yimi Garcia and Marwin Gonzalez. Hmm, I feel like I’m forgetting someone here. Probably a minor character. Oh right. It’s that Carlos Correa guy.

Here is a look at each of the seven:

Carlos Correa.

  • Age – 27 years old         
  • Salary for 2021 – $11.7 MM
  • Career stats (all with Houston) – .277 BA/ .356 OBP/ .837 OPS / 438 runs / 133 HRs/ 489 RBIs
  • 2021 stats – .279 BA/ .366 OBP/ .850 OPS/ 104 runs/ 26 HRs/ 92 RBIs
  • Awards – Rookie of the Year / 2 Time All Star (really, only two?)
  • Qualifying Offer – Duh, yeah they will shoot him one and he will quickly turn it down
  • What are we looking at – Spotrac.com predicts 12 years / $300 MM
  • How about re-signing Mr. Correa? Unless they are complete idiots, the Astros will at least give it a shot. He’s a premium talent at a premium position and unlike the vast majority of free agents, he is way under the 30-year-old line of demarcation. With a lot of money coming off the books this off-season, the Astros could afford to sign Correa at least for the short term. But the term may be the problem as Carlos will be looking for one of those 10+ year contracts and the Astros may not be looking for that kind of commitment. The key with Carlos is whether he will stay as healthy as he was in 2020 and 2021, but most teams are not thinking too much about that.

Justin Verlander

  • Age – 38 years old (will turn 39 in February)       
  • Salary for 2021 – $33 MM
  • Career stats – 226-129, 3.33 ERA, 1.134 WHIP, 9.1 K/ 9 IP
  • Stats with Houston – 43-15, 2.45 ERA, 0.834 WHIP, 12.1 K/ 9 IP
  • 2021 stats – Nada
  • Awards – One league MVP – Two Cy Young Awards (one with Houston) – 8 All Star awards (2 with Houston)=
  • Qualifying Offer – This would seem to be the smart move for Houston. He probably won’t take it, but if he does, you have someone to help bridge through 2022 at a fairly reasonable $18.4 MM
  • What are we looking at – Not finding any official predictions – but certainly would not be surprised to see him offered 2-3 years in the $15 – 20 MM/ yr range
  • How about re-signing Verlander? The Astros have to at least kick the tires on this. When he was last pitching for Houston in 2019 (forget the one start in 2020), he was the best pitcher in the AL with a no-hitter in September. Now he is two seasons removed from that and speaking of removed, any – ahem – stick assistance he may have used is now removed from his arsenal of tricks. He is also heading towards 39 years old. Has time and age and wear knocked down his velocity? No one knows and he may or may not be out doing showcases on this.

Zack Greinke

  • Age – Turned 38 y.o. two weeks ago      
  • Salary for 2021 – $35 MM ($10.3 MM paid by the D’backs)
  • Career stats –  219-132, 3.42 ERA, 1.159 WHIP, 8.1 K/ 9 IP
  • 2021 stats – 11-6, 4.16 ERA, 1.170 WHIP, 6.3 K/ 9 IP
  • Awards – 1 CY Young, 6 All Stars, 4 Gold Gloves – none with Houston- though he had an AS and GG with the D’Backs in 2019 when he was traded
  • Qualifying Offer – Zack is not worth $18.4 MM anymore, so they will not be offering him this
  • What are we looking at – Not finding any predictions on this – but could see someone offer him 2 yrs $12-15 MM per season
  • How about re-signing Greinke? I’m not feeling it. He had been very, very good for a number of years from 2011 through 2019 and was excellent in that 2019 run to the World Series. But he had some struggles in 2020 and more so in 2021. He is not missing bats and he was having some physical problems. He was not terrible, but he turned into a home run machine, basically doubling his HR rate from 2020. The Astros are going to move on, though it was fun watching a real baseball player (hitter and fielder) in the pitcher’s spot.

Kendall Graveman

  • Age – Turns 31 years old in December   
  • Salary for 2021 – $1.75 MM (including a $500K buyout)
  • Career stats – As a starter – 80 Games 23-31, 4.26 ERA, 1.387 WHIP, 5.8 K/ 9 IP
  • As a reliever – 67 games – 6-2, 10 saves, 2.17 ERA. 0.962 WHIP, 8.9 K/ 9 IP
  • 2021 stats – 53 games – 5-1, 10 saves, 1.77 ERA, 0.982 WHIP, 9.8 K/ 9 IP
  • With Astros – 23 games – 1-1, 0 saves, 3.13 ERA, 1.391 WHIP, 10.6 K/ 9 IP
  • Awards – None
  • Qualifying Offer – No=
  • What are we looking at – This is a tough one to figure. He was a mediocre starter for much of his career, was crummy in 2020 (who wasn’t) when he got his first bullpen exposure and was great (at least with the M’s) in his full-season shot in 2021. We will guess he will get…..3-4 years / $8-10 MM per year.
  • How about re-signing Mr. Graveman? He should certainly be a target, but will he choose the bigger money of being a closer elsewhere to be a set-up man for a perennial contender. He did not pitch as well with the Astros as he did with the M’s in the regular season. But in nine postseason games, he was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP and looked like he was settling into his role. He showed nasty stuff and the Astros are lacking in ready for prime time back of the bullpen arms.

Brooks Raley

  • Age – 33 years old         
  • Salary for 2021 – $2 MM
  • Career stats – 3-6, 3 saves, 5.62 ERA, 1.314 WHIP, 10.2 K/ 9 IP
  • 2021 stats – 2-3, 2 saves, 4.78 ERA, 1.204 WHIP, 11.9 K/ 9 IP
  • Awards – None
  • Qualifying Offer – Nope
  • What are we looking at – Probably 2 yrs – $2 MM per year, just because he’s a lefty
  • How about re-signing Mr. Raley? If they could find a time machine and transport back to the days when the reliever didn’t have to face three batters minimum, Raley would be worth a lot more money. Against leftys he struck out 35 in 77 at bats and held them to a .195 BA/ .262 OBP/ .483 OPS even with the batters hitting a very lucky .357 BABIP.  Dusty seemed to like him, so maybe they will chase him, but he should be the second option behind Blake Taylor as a lefty out of the bullpen.

Yimi Garcia

  • Age – 31 years old         
  • Salary for 2021 – $1.9 MM
  • Career stats – 12-20, 17 saves, 3.60 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, 9.5 K/ 9 IP
  • 2021 stats – 4-9, 15 saves, 4.21 ERA, 1.162 WHIP, 9.4 K/ 9 IP
  • Awards – None
  • Qualifying Offer – Nope
  • What are we looking at – He saved 15 games in 2/3 of a season….2 years – $4 MM per year?
  • How about re-signing Mr. Garcia? Going from the non-pennant race of Miami to the hot race of Houston did not yield good results. He was much worse in almost every category, though like Graveman his K rate went up after his trade to the Astros. Did they fiddle with his delivery and pitch choices and cause a fall-off or did the higher pressure of the situation do him in? No real opinion here. He looked good at times and bad at times.  If they know how to fix him – then sure – pick him up.

Marwin Gonzalez

  • Age – He turns 33 around opening day 2022       
  • Salary for 2021 – $3 MM
  • Career stats – .256 BA/ .313 OBP/ .717 OPS / 400 runs / 101 HRs/ 397 RBIs
  • 2021 stats – .199 BA/ .275 OBP/ .579 OPS/ 30 runs/ 5 HRs/ 28 RBIs
  • Awards – None – though he was 19th in the AL MVP race in 2017
  • Qualifying Offer – Oh he wishes
  • What are we looking at – I think we are looking at Marwin signing a minor league contract and trying to earn a major league spot with some team.
  • How about re-signing Mr. MarGo? If there was any living proof of garbage can banging, it would be Marwin’s wonderful 2017 season surrounded by a career of average or below. I wasn’t sure why they signed him when they did and why he was put on the playoff roster and why he was used ahead of Chas, but he did have a significant bloop signal in the World Series for 2 runs. I don’t see any reason for signing him in 2021, so they probably will.
  • The plus one on the free agent side is Dusty Baker and apparently, they are well on the way to bringing him back. Whatcha think?

82 comments on “Astros: Seven Free Agents, Plus One

  1. I am assuming Click traded for Graveman, Raley and Yimi because they all have elite spin rates and would think he really wants to keep them, although another team might offer Graveman more than what we would offer.

    I don’t anticipate us signing any of the other guys.

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  2. Correa has never gotten a Silver Slugger.
    Correa has never won a GG.
    Correa has never even been close to winning an MVP.
    Correa has never been close to a batting title.
    Correa’s best years were the year he knew which pitch was coming and the year leading up to his free agency.
    He has never hit 30 home runs in a season, even though he hits right handed in MMP with the Crawford Boxes.
    He has never driven in 100 runs in a season, even though he has constantly been on the best OBP team in baseball.
    Correa has been hyped all year by the national sports media because they want to see Correa leave the Astros, so that maybe the Astros will finally not be great.
    When the Astros had a chance to win the WS in 2019 and 2021, Correa disappeared.
    Now he will disappear for good, just like he has been planning to do ever since he came into the league with reaching free agency and making his fortune.
    Correa may get his $300 million, but unlike all the other $300 million players, he doesn’t have the credentials. If he does get his big money, he’s gonna get it from a fool, and I hope it’s not our fool.

    Liked by 2 people

      • And here I thought that an expert was a guy who was barely over 5′ tall makes a huge living passing along information from snitches he has in every front office in baseball, though he never played baseball himself.
        The guys in the betting business really do make money by being in the betting business.
        I think “experts” in baseball are people in the baseball business, and that includes James Click.

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      • Here is an “expert” that says the Astros are currently the third best team for 2022 right now, behind the Rays and White Sox. Ironically, he thinks the top 5 teams are in the AL.

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      • The link doesn’t paste. The article is entitled: Way Too Early 2022 Power Rankings and it is on ESPN’s website. David Schoenfield is the “expert”.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Some Astros thoughts that are mine alone:
    * I don’t read a lot into Strom’s departure other than Dusty is staying and Brent is leaving. I’m not sure Strom was happy here any more. I just don’t think Strom felt he fit in as good as he used to and might consider another team if it was a good fit.
    * I don’t believe Pedro Leon will play shortstop for the Astros in the future. I do believe he will be a starting outfielder for the Astros.
    * Joe Record has pitched well in one inning stints in the Arizona Fall League and may very well fit in somebody’s bullpen next season.
    * I think Jeremy Pena will be a major league capable shortstop. He probably won’t be as good as Correa. Only about ten shortstops are. But he will be good enough.
    * In my book, Charlie Morton is amazing. I wish we would have found a way to keep him. The Astros made it to three ALCSs in a row since he left. But what could they have accomplished if he had stayed?
    * I think the Astros need three more better-than-average relievers who throw strikes with HEAT to add to Maton, Stanek and Pressly. One of them needs to be a lefty.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1oldpro, what do you think about Siri? Apparently the club feels he has talent and a significant upside (speed, some power, arm strength), but at present I feel he’s immature and a bit of a head case (sharing some Carlos Gomez DNA). I keep waiting for an inopportune event to occur involving him. Do you think he will be the Opening Day CF?

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      • John, I’m not fond of his antics, but I don’t use that as a basis for judging his future contributions.
        What I like are his four tools: glove, speed, power and arm. What I don’t like is his hit tool and that has been his problem all along. He showed no hit tool in the playoffs. I think he needs to work in AAA on that a lot.
        Last year he would tear it up in Sugarland and then disappear. Then repeat and repeat. The WS showed his weaknesses in telling the differences in recognizing a pitch he isn’t looking for. He never hit a ball hard against good pitching. He only seems to hit bad pitches that he is sitting on. I would never throw him a fastball over the inner half of the plate and neither did the Braves.

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  4. Not being an “expert”, I watched multiple minor league games. My opinion, Meyers is much more steady in the field and in antics. Last year was the best year Meyers had in the minors. He deserved a promotion. Last year Siri had his best year since A ball. ChasMc had no season in the minors to match any of those two. Straw did and he is now gone. My thought is we know Dusty and we have the LF and RF players on the team. We need just one of those 3 to step forward to be the centerfielder.

    Also, I am not a big fan of some advanced stats, but here goes. When you compare Range Factor using Siri leads the 3 in that category, Meyers, and then ChasMc. My “eye test” would agreel that Siri will get to more balls than McCormick. And we hope that he catches them next year. Siri also had more stolen bases in the minors compared to the other two. We know the speed is there. Not sure where his head is sometimes.

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    • One more outlier for the OF is Marty Costes. He has better bat control than either Siri or McCormick in my opinion. He has the power of neither. Doesn’t steal bases. Doesn’t chase down low fly balls and if he gets there, probably doesn’t catch it. He is 26 in a few days. So he would have to get hot next year to even be in the mix.

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  5. 45, you’re a trouble maker. I think it was too long a post. One of my thoughts was that we should offer Correa 5 at 35. Then he could still sign another big deal at the age of 33. I’m just reading now that the Astros have just offered him 160 over 5.

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    • It’ll be curious what CC’s reaction to the offer is. I think it’s more than fair and after 5 he’s still young enough to get more here or elsewhere if he wants. JV wants to pitch for somebody else IMO. Offer him the QO and let’s see what happens. Greinke is a no go on a QO. What we need is a flame thrower or two to supplement all of these “high spin rate” guys. It doesn’t help the rotation when every pitcher has the same pitches in his arsenal. And we need a couple of lights out lefties. And why you’re at it Mr Click could you pick up a gallon of milk and a dozens eggs too?
      Any word on our “great pitcher to be” Forrest Whitley? Sure would be nice if he was ready to take his shot at the big league level next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. On Verlander, seems to me he moved on from the Astros in the summer of 2020. He’s gone.

    Graveman showed some real grit in the post season. I’d like to see him back. Is he happy here though?

    Yimi has a 1.078 WHIP and a hight 5.00 something ERA. He’s much better than what he showed on paper. And he does not walk many guys.

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  7. Marwin? Pay Diaz.

    I think Grienke is done in Houston, but if we could move Odorizzi, that 12 to 15 sounds about right for Grienke. He’ll invent something new over the winter. And he made the Braves look human over 4 essential innings. He’ll win games for someone 2022.

    If Raley could get righties out, I’d give him a deal. But he can’t.

    This is a big year for Click. His job now is to take us deep into the post season again in 2022. That’s the expectation at this point. After this winter, the Astros will more and more of his design, for better or worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We have some good RHP prospects in the minors. I don’t think we can count on any to step in and be a 6+ inning guy though. I agree with what you wrote above. I’d like to see Click find some LHP bullpen help that isn’t automatically a dumpster fire when they face righties. That probably involves parting with some of the more highly rated prospects in the system. The old fan in me says, “Make a run at Gaussman,” but that probably ends up hurting us after the first couple years if they could sign him. Clearly a lot hinges on McCullers. I think the postseason is going to look a lot like 2021 moving forward where you see a lot of bullpen usage and gems by starters are fewer and far between.

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  8. Jeremy Pena was 4-5 with a HR in his Dominican Winter League 2021 debut last night. He had a HR to left center, a line single to right, a single to left and beat out a ground ball to second.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky, my first and short answer is “No.” But realistically, Verlander missed his age 38 season. Nolan did not obviously. But Nolan Ryann pitched the following number of innings: (39) 178, (40) 211, (41) 220, (42) 239, (43) 204. So JV might do it, but he is not worth another $65-150 Million gamble. Too unpredictable.

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    • I’d be hesitant to offer more than a single year as we don’t know how well he will pitch post-recovery and post-sticky stuff ban. Our payroll situation is not flexible enough moving forward to take a real gamble.

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  9. Correa was ovedue for that Gold Glove. I’m just so pleased Yuli has become recognized as one of the best defensive first basemen in the game. We knew it, but nobody else was paying attention. Not many guys enter MLB at 32 and learn a new postion and then get very good at it. Yuli is unique.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We know he is a workaholic. We also know he hasn’t thrown a baseball competitively in 2 years. That might be a disadvantage for a guy that doesn’t work hard, but he is a natural talent. I’m betting he shows up at 96 and hits 98 before the day is over.

      I also wasn’t happy about his lack of presence at the WS. Blaming rehab and not wanting to take resources from the Astros? How about show up, in uniform, sit in the dugout and root on the guys trying to get you a free ring? It’s two/three hours, you don’t even have to be there for pregame stuff, just let a camera catch you talking to Luis Garcia after that 3 run homer about the pitch, and maybe what he should have thrown Soler after he had pummeled two straight pitches with hard foul balls – teach the kid the art of the battle. I bet you don’t send that AL pennant back.

      Call me not happy with JV – one of the most me first athletes to come through Houston in a long time, and that is a distinction to own when James Harden played here. Still, we need the guy. We need a staff ace that takes the ball in games 1, 5, and gives you an inning in 7. Lance can be that guy, maybe, but I feel like he is better to be that guy in 2 and 6 to get you out of trouble. If it takes 3/60, so be it, that would be a deal for what Verlander will give someone – he is like the Warriors – get healthy, and domination will return.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Steven, you know my take. And I’m not sure if the guys in the clubhouse want him back either. Regardless, he’ll get more money somewhere else and I believe he’s already moved on from the Astros.

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      • I’m with you on a lot of this Steven – I have always been a Missouri native at heart (but not in reality) – show me don’t tell me.
        As I understand it – he lives in Beverly Hills. He couldn’t finish off a workout during the day and come out to be with his mates when they played the Angels and the Dodgers out there – (FOR $66 MILLION DOLLARS???)
        He should have showed up some time for them and he definitely should have flown in for the World Series , worked out at the local Globo Gym and been there for his teammates.
        We need his arm – maybe we don’t need his lack of ethics. You get paid that much you owe your organization and teammates something. Justin your mommy and daddy did not raise you right.

        Liked by 1 person

    • And I would be surprised if the deal that someone gives JV isn’t closer to 4/90, maybe even 4/100. If he goes less, it will be to go back to Detroit because that is, for some reason, where he seems to want to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Correa – not coming back. His words after seemed like he knew the Astros weren’t going to touch the 8/300 range (I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees go 12/400 and make him the Jeter like centerpiece of their franchise). We will have to settle for a QO and draft pick. I would agree with most, love you Carlos, but not at crippling the rest of the franchise’s ability to compete for Tucker or Alvarez when their paydays come.

    Verlander – Likely not to take the QO, but if the market doesn’t seem to be past 2/40 wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up taking it to have a “here you b**** im healthy, see” year to flip that into a 4/5 year offer, since, like Brady ultra competitive people put the work in and he will play into his mid 40s.

    Greinke – He is smart. One of the few guys that can pitch without his stuff. Still not worth 13-14 million. The pitching staff is already deep in “good just not staff ace good” guys. Spend that money elsewhere.

    Garcia/Graveman – two former closers that are going to look at a higher end 8th inning/lower end closer kind of money. Both will probably be somewhere else next year.

    The Astros are fine without Correa, they will still have an offense featuring all-stars and potential MVPs. They will be fine with Greinke when the still don’t have enough spots for all the guys that are competing for rotation spots. Their bullpen is still good enough in high leverage spots with Maton and Stanek and the closer will be back. Javier is a great bridge guy. I don’t think they need to spend 60 million bringing back Graveman, Garcia, Gonzalez, and Greinke (the G men!) just so you address the depth of it. Their primary focus for this roster should be finding a left hander that can be depended on in high leverage moments like the Braves kept throwing at us, and a staff ace that allows Lance to flow back to being a number 2 guy. The focus should also be on Verlander, which is just the way he likes it. I would take that 60 million that would go to the Gs and offer Marte 3/45. Thats my splash. Sign Duffy for the infield depth – no star but he makes decent contact, plays serviceable at 2B and 3B, plays SS in a pinch, even logged some innings at 1B and LF. Is it time to give Almedys 500 AB at SS? Is his D good enough for 1800 innings? Diaz doesn’t have great discipline, he is a “rely on the mistake pitch guy” but I think he can run into 20 bad pitches, has enough thump, and isn’t afraid of the moment. His range isn’t great either, but we aren’t getting another Carlos.

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    • I’m taking 2/40, though I understand some reservations. It’s practically an uninsurable contract, so you could get a staff ace/cy young contender or you could do just as well walking out and handing a homeless man 40 mil.

      Liked by 2 people

    • As Michel Douglas said in “Wall Street”, Greed for lack of a better word is good”, but I like the Biblical phrase better, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” And with that don’t expect Correa to stay in Houston. It’ll either be New York or Boston IMO.

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    • It’s a good thing we didn’t need somebody who threw his fastball between 94 and 97 in the last week or so…..
      Yeah, yeah I know … he wasn’t ready, couldn’t have gotten stretched out , yada, yada, yada. But he wasn’t coming to help even if he was ready.

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    • Historically I tend to criticize a lot of things Bregman does, but wanted to point out that just like in 2017, he made some huge defensive plays for the Astros during this WS. One of the reasons I’m not bothered letting Correa take his contractual demands elsewhere is that our other three infielders are all pretty good too!

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  11. Carlos Correa. Ten years, $320MM.
    This has become Monopoly Money. Crane paid about $600 million for the entire team and accoutrements. YES, if offered, I would take it. But in the back of my mind, I would wonder if the check would bounce.

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  12. Across the way, a couple of folks there have noted KPRC reported an offer this morning for 6 at 210. That’s 35 a year, no state income tax and more money per year than Lindor is getting. So does 7 at 250 get it done, or is Carlos intent on requiring those 10 years? If he won’t take 6 or 7 at 35 a year, then he really does not care about hugging Jose after every win. I have no problem with Craig and Click backing away if the KPRC numbers are accurate.

    I’d take Story for 5 at 130 or so and have him around to move to 2rd or 3nd in 3 years. He’s not a Correa, but he’s not half of Correa either. And he stays on the field.

    Liked by 1 person

      • 45 yes, I checked that stuff out. Hard to tell what he might do in Houston. He’s not a dead pull hitter so the Crawford Boxes might not do anything more for him than they did for Correa. And he does strike out too. His lifetime OBP is .340, Correa .356. His OPS is .030 higher than Correa. But the big thing is what he’ll do on the road. I’m guessing the nerd cave has a pretty good idea of what he’ll produce. I like the fact that he plays a full season. And it’s pretty clear he’d be much more economical. Heck, at the same time, the back up plan could be Pena, with most all the money spent on pitching. I’d just like to know what the back up back up plan would be in that case!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. While we are giving out money, I thought this might be of interest.

    Williams Accepts Red Sox Pact Calling for ‘Close to $100,000’; Boston Star, on Phone, Tells Cronin That He Is Satisfied, Will Sign on March 6
    Feb. 25, 1949

    Now if you use an inflation calculator, the $100,000 is worth $1,152,563.03 today. So double the league minimum.

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  14. The other day, 1OP posted about the changes that might be coming to the A’s. Now it is reported by MLB Trade rumors: ” the A’s were unlikely to spend to keep a deep arbitration class after projected raises to the likes of Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas.”

    There are a couple pitchers that would interest me if I were Click.

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  15. I hope y’all aren’t disappointed in my production here lately, though unlike Justin Verlander I am not getting paid $66 MM to do nothing.
    Work has been crazy busy and life has a way of getting in the way.
    I hope to publish something later today. There – by saying that – I have to write something….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Work does have a bad habit of ruining a perfectly good day. I started what I thought was a short 3-6 week assignment that will probably run into next year. Next time I’ll give them a resounding “no thank you” next time.
      But Dan remember we are a patient bunch. After all we waited 55 years for the Astros to win a World Series so we can wait a little longer.

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    • Imagine, Lennon & McCartney writing about our Dan!

      Dear sir or madam would you read my post
      it took my mind off work to do what matters most!
      It’s ’bout the ‘Stros and all our hot-stove dreams,
      and how to stay ahead of all the other teams’ blog-a-sphere writers;
      Blog-a-sphere writers!

      It’s a brilliant take about an aging crew
      that make a whole lot of million more dollars than you!
      But when those rich guys step out onto the field
      it’s like we’re kids again and all we want to be’s a blog-a-sphere writer;
      Blog-a-sphere writer!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. *The Astros will now wait to hear from Verlander and Correa. Those two have until the 17th to let the team know if they will accept or reject the QOs.
    * The team has left two 40 man spots open for them.
    * After those decisions are made the team has to decide who from their prospect list they wish to protect and they have to make those decisions by November the 19th.
    * When the team announces those decisions they will have to have cleared space on the 40-man for those those they wish to protect. That could mean some roster moves and some players leaving. As these dates draw nearer we will probably be discussing those potential adds and subtractions.
    * One thing I took specific note of from the press conference and that was Crane’s specific comment that the Astros will have one of the highest payrolls in MLB this coming season. I do not believe the Astros will go over the luxury tax limit, whatever that ends up being. I am convinced that they will hug that line but will stay under it. They have about $55 million to spend if the line stays at $210 million.
    * They specifically mentioned they will have to address SS and pitching and that is what they will do, but I am also convinced that if they can keep away from other team’s QO free agents that they will do that because this is the year to make up for draft losses from their two penalty years. Depending on Verlander and Correa’s decisions, the Astros could have four draft picks before the third round begins.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It is interesting to watch how teams attempt to build a better team. As noted, the Astros currently how only 2 open spots to add any minor league talent if Correa and JV turn down the QO. The Diamondbacks have a full 40 per their website. The Orioles have 32 on their roster (and no catchers).

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