1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Houston Astros 5 Year Outlook

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Snake Diggit, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    2,294
    I keep a spreadsheet forecasting player salaries and performance over 5 years. I see the topic of Houston's competitive window and potential player extensions come up quite a bit and thought it might be thread-worthy to discuss what the future might really hold.

    I am too lazy to post a pic of my spreadsheet to a hosting site, but below are the total Payroll and WAR projections I have for the next 5 seasons, under the following assumptions:

    No players are extended.
    No free agents are signed.
    A prospect ranked in the 1-50 range of the BA Top 100 will be worth ~3 WAR at his peak.
    A prospect ranked in the 50-100 range will be worth ~2 WAR at his peak.
    A prospect receiving a bonus aligned with a draft pick in the top 2 rounds will be worth ~1 WAR at his peak.
    At worst, Houston will be able to cobble together 0.5 WAR from it's farm for each position.
    Young players already in the majors will improve from their current performance thru age 27, where they will sustain until age 32 and decline rapidly.

    At first glance those prospect value projections are wildly optimistic, but keep in mind that while the odds of any 1 prospect panning out as described are quite low, the odds of that prospect panning out -or- another, less heralded prospect panning out to equal value are much better.

    A basic scale for judging how good a team will be based on WAR projections is this:
    50+ WAR: World Series favorite (100+ Wins)
    40-50 WAR: World Series contender (90-100 Wins)
    35-40 WAR: Playoff contender (85-90 Wins)
    25-35 WAR: .500 (75-85 Wins)
    <25 WAR: Rebuilding


    Anyway, one to the data:

    2018: $152.4M payroll, 53.8 WAR
    2019: $141.9M payroll, 57 WAR
    2020: $112.4M payroll, 49.5 WAR
    2021: $74.5M payroll, 42.5 WAR
    2022: $57M payroll, 32 WAR

    So by my forecast Houston will be a contender through 2021 so long as they don't trade away valuable prospects. A look at each year starting with 2019:

    2019: $141.9M payroll, 57 WAR
    Free Agents: McCann, Gattis, Marwin, Keuchel, Morton, Sipp ($49.5M, 12.1 WAR)
    Projected replacements: Garrett Stubbs, AJ Reed, Kyle Tucker, Francis Martes, Forrest Whitley, David Paulino ($3M, 11 WAR)
    Summary: Houston will be great again next year. They should have at least $20M to spend to fill holes at catcher and potentially on the pitching staff. Whitley and Tucker are being counted on as core pieces.

    2020: $112.4M payroll, 49.5 WAR
    Free Agents: Altuve, Verlander, Cole, Rondon, Smith, Harris, McHugh ($63M, 14.5 WAR)
    Projected Replacements: JD Davis, Jandel Gustave, JB Bukauskas, Cionel Perez, James Hoyt, Reymin Guduan, Buddy Boshers ($3.5M, 6 WAR)
    Summary: Losing Altuve, Verlander, and Cole would hurt. But with Correa, Bregman, Springer, Tucker, Whitley, and McCullers all projected for 3+ WAR, the team would still be a contender. The good news is that at $112M there should be PLENTY of money to resign Altuve.

    2021: $74.5M payroll, 42.5 WAR
    Free Agents: Gurriel, Springer, Reddick, Marisnick, Peacock, Giles ($62.4M, 12.5 WAR)
    Projected Replacements: Tony Kemp, Yordan Alvarez, Myles Straw, Tyler White, Dean Deetz, Brady Rodgers ($3M, 4.5 WAR)
    Summary: Losing Springer accounts for the bulk of the dropoff from 2020. Lots of the projected replacements are just placeholders and could really be any prospect as they are projected for a meager 0.5 WAR each. Still, despite having let so many stars walk away, the team built around Correa, Bregman, Tucker, Whitley, and McCullers would still be a playoff contender, and at a low cost of only $74.5M. This is also about where prospects who Houston hasn't even drafted yet might be able to start contributing.

    2022: $57M payroll, 32 WAR
    Free Agents: Correa, McCullers, Devenski ($48M, 12 WAR)
    Projected Replacements: Jonathan Arauz, Rogelio Armenteros, Brendan McCurry ($1.5M, 1.5 WAR)
    Summary: Finally Houston's run would be over if they didn't retain any of their stars, add any star free agents, get super lucky with prospects, or trade for any stars. Again, the prospects listed as replacements could be anybody, as they're not being counted on for much. But they'd still be a .500 team, built around Bregman, Tucker, and Whitley. If by chance they did go this route, they would likely rebuild here, trading their 3 stars along with a handful of other quality players to jumpstart the process.

    Takeaways:

    Houston will be a contender thru 2021 no matter what they do.

    There should be plenty of money to make Altuve an Astro for his entire career.

    There should be plenty of money to add or retain 1-3 add'l stars on free agent level contracts.

    Extending Altuve and Correa likely means Houston is a contender through at least 2024.

    Houston really only has 1 long term hole, at catcher.
     
  2. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    15,007
    Likes Received:
    1,266
    interesting, but would take a lot to look deeply at this. don't have the time right now :) immediate thought was if you modeled declines into existing players or straight-lined their WARs based on last year?
     
    Snake Diggit likes this.
  3. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    15,327
    Likes Received:
    2,993
    Nice job. Did something similar last year for the AL West, but didn't divide up the years. A's and Angels have gotten a lot better since then long term, but Astros long term projections are crazy.

    I'd recommend assuming $9 million/WAR and $155 million budget for 2018. Assume 5% inflation for both of those numbers each year to estimate WAR from TBD free agents that Astros sign to fill in holes. Not perfect as Luhnow will likely beat those assumptions, but Astros still look crazy good.
     
    Snake Diggit likes this.
  4. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    2,294
    Modeled declines for players over 30, subtle thru age 32 then steep. Really only affects Gurriel and Reddick since all others were modeled to leave via free agency before they were old.
     
  5. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    2,294
    Updated after Altuve extension:

    2020: $142M, 53.5 WAR
    2021: $101.5M, 46.5 WAR
    2022: $87M, 36 WAR

    Should be enough money to extend Correa which as I mentioned above means they should be World Series contenders thru at least 2024.
     
    #5 Snake Diggit, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    samtaylor and Buck Turgidson like this.
  6. UTAllTheWay

    UTAllTheWay Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,705
    Likes Received:
    1,847
    The best part about this is that I have absolutely no doubt Lunhow has a game plan that will keep this team in line to contend for a long time.
     
    raining threes and leroy like this.
  7. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Messages:
    23,083
    Likes Received:
    3,941
    I agree. As long as the players want to be here, I'm guessing Luhnow already has a framework set on who, when and how much. The market from year to year will affect things. It'll be interesting to see how this year's free agency affects future years.
     
  8. theimpossibles1

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    4,167
    Likes Received:
    4,887
    According to my calculations....

    *beep beep boop bop beep beep boop*

    The Astros will win every World Series from now until the end of time.


    No but seriously thats some nice analysis Snake Diggit.
     
    pw1993 and Snake Diggit like this.
  9. the shark

    the shark Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    3,285
    Likes Received:
    1,625
    I have no idea what the future will look like, but what I do know is more then likely they're losing DK after this yr, Verlander & Cole after next season, so there's no guarantee that they're going to be a WS contender thru at least '24.
     
  10. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    12,580
    Likes Received:
    9,475
    Just over the last year Luhnow has added Morton, Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

    If we don't get any pitching help from the farm we might be in trouble. But at this point I have a lot of faith in Luhnow adding pitching through trades and free agency to supplement the rotation. He will stalk the market and make some good finds.
     
  11. the shark

    the shark Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    3,285
    Likes Received:
    1,625
    I have all the confidence in the world in Luhnow, however finding elite pitching is extremely hard to do.

    It will be interesting to see how it plays out. In the mean time going to enjoy this season and see if we can repeat!!
     
  12. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    15,327
    Likes Received:
    2,993
    It is hard to acquire elite pitching unless you have money.
     
  13. samtaylor

    samtaylor Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2014
    Messages:
    4,563
    Likes Received:
    4,488
    At this point, the worst case scenario is that the 2017-2024 Astros will be compared to the 1991-1999 Atlanta Braves, where they won the division basically every year but only won one World Series.

    I would be disappointed if we don’t win one more World Series in the next six seasons.

    Obviously best case scenario is that the Astros win 7-8 championships in a row, but that’s not realistic because baseball is baseball. But there certainly is potential that this could be the beginning of one of the best non-Yankee dynasties in baseball history.

    I’m predicting that Altuve and Correa will be Astros for life and they win 3 or 4 titles by the time they retire.
     
  14. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    2,294
    For me over the next 7 seasons:

    Best case:
    2 more world championships
    3 more WS appearance
    5 more ALCS appearance
    6 more AL West titles
    1 Wild Card appearance
    7 more total playoff appearances

    Worst case:
    4 more AL West titles
    1 Wild Card appearance
    5 more total playoff appearances

    Likely case:
    1 more world championship
    2 more WS appearances
    5 more AL West titles
    1 Wild Card appearance
    6 more total playoff appearances
     
    No Worries and texans1095 like this.
  15. the shark

    the shark Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    3,285
    Likes Received:
    1,625

     
  16. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    42,148
    Likes Received:
    20,109
    Or prospects. Or both, I guess.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now