[Official] Astros Off-Season Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Castor27, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Rich Hill will probably get more money than the Astros would be comfortable paying. He has always had ability, but his control/command has to be exceptional to translate to the field and he has had serious injury issues dating back to his time with the Cubs. If he is healthy he is capable of putting together 150 innings of exceptional pitching. The Dodgers front office think highly of him and I am sure they will over pay. I don't think the Astros are in a position to risk 60-70 million dollars on a 36 year old (although his "stuff" ages well) on someone with the injury history of Hill.

    Yes, there is supposedly some traction to the Pirates seriously considering moving on from McCutchen. His performance has slipped, the Pirates have payroll restraints and have targeted long term competitiveness as the goal. With that in mind, it makes sense for them to be open to the possibility of moving him for the right package. I think the larger concern is, what team is going to deal the talent necessary to acquire him with his recent performance.
     
  2. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Rich Hill will probably get more money than the Astros would be comfortable paying. He has always had ability, but his control/command has to be exceptional to translate to the field and he has had serious injury issues dating back to his time with the Cubs. If he is healthy he is capable of putting together 150 innings of exceptional pitching. The Dodgers front office think highly of him and I am sure they will over pay. I don't think the Astros are in a position to risk 60-70 million dollars on a 36 year old (although his "stuff" ages well) on someone with the injury history of Hill.

    Yes, there is supposedly some traction to the Pirates seriously considering moving on from McCutchen. His performance has slipped, the Pirates have payroll restraints and have targeted long term competitiveness as the goal. With that in mind, it makes sense for them to be open to the possibility of moving him for the right package. I think the larger concern is, what team is going to deal the talent necessary to acquire him with his recent performance.
     
  3. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    By himself, you won't get much... because of the risk you mentioned above.

    Also, that's essentially the mindset they had with VV... that still induces the incessant hindsight bitching.
     
  4. ApolloRLB

    ApolloRLB Member

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    One FA would be offset by the Rasmus and Gomez salaries which were around $25M this year so the payroll increase wouldn't be too astronomical.

    From your priority list I think a LOOGY needs to be much higher and should be more cheaply filled.
    Good list but I would move a LH reliever to number 4.

    Ideally trade for a TOR SP and LOOGY. Re-sign Castro and Valbuena to reasonable deals. Sign a FA outfielder; my preference is Dexter Fowler if he'll play LF (but maybe he would be ok in CF without Tal's Hill?). Don't see any need for a DH-only type.
     
  5. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Jeff Luhnow says in hindsight, he would have done more at trade deadline

    Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said he absolutely would have done more at the non-waiver trade deadline had he known pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers would be lost for the season in August and glaring offensive woes in the outfield would have continued.

    “Absolutely,” Luhnow said Monday at the Astros’ end-of-season press conference at Minute Maid Park. “But I didn’t have that perspective at that point.”

    Luhnow said the Astros were in talks with every top player at the deadline, but the organization deemed the asking price too high.

    “When you make a decision like that in the short term, it’s never satisfying for the fans, but over the long term, it does sometimes turn out to be the right decision,” he said Monday. “So the jury’s out on that.”

    The Astros never closed the gap and finished 11 games out of first.

    “I can’t control what happened after the deadline,” Luhnow said. “But we’re certainly going to continue to look at every opportunity going forward to give ourselves maybe a little more breathing room so if we do lose a player or we have some underperformance, that we’ve got more of a margin to still have a successful campaign.”

    GM says Astros will seek help via free agency

    Jeff Luhnow doesn’t necessarily agree with those deeming baseball’s upcoming offseason free-agent class to be an underwhelming one, particularly where starting pitching — a need of the Astros — is concerned.

    “It’s kind of like the draft class every year,” the Astros general manager said Monday. “The scouting directors tell you it’s a bad draft class, yet there’s a bunch of really good players that come out of every class.”

    “We’re going to explore all avenues, and I think there’s more quality free agents in this class than it’s being given credit for at this time,” Luhnow said. “There’s going to be some really good signings, so we want to make sure we participate in those.”

    Washington’s Wilson Ramos was originally set to headline the free-agent class at catcher, but the market changed when the 29-year-old tore an ACL last week. Baltimore’s Matt Wieters rebounded in 2016 after playing just 101 games the previous two seasons, but his offensive production was its lowest since his second year (2010).

    Rich Hill, Jeremy Hellickson, Edison Volquez and Ivan Nova are among the top starting pitchers hitting the market, a far cry from last winter’s free-agent class that included Zack Greinke, David Price and Johnny Cueto.

    Outfielder Josh Reddick could be targeted as a lefthanded bat even though he struggled after the Athletics traded him to the Dodgers. The 29-year-old hit a career-high 32 homers in 2012 but had just 10 this season in 115 total games with Oakland and Los Angeles. In 47 games with the Dodgers, his OPS was a mere .643.

    Luhnow did suggest owner Jim Crane is willing to up the payroll.

    “We’re sort of open for business across all areas with the exception of our middle infield, which is in pretty good shape at this point (with Altuve and Correa) and is a good spot to be in good shape because it’s tough to find good middle infielders that can produce offensively and defensively like the guys we have.

    “Other than that, we’re going to be looking at every opportunity that can present itself.”

    Astros retain entire coaching staff next season

    "We had a lot of adversity and the staff kept the team focused and driving toward the goal," Luhnow said. "We didn't accomplish our goal this year, which is to get back to the postseason and do some real damage in October, but I think our staff did a terrific job and I'm glad that they're all going to be back supporting us next year."

    Pitching coach Brent Strom and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson were both holdovers from former Bo Porter's final staff in 2014.

    Trey Hillman (bench), Dave Hudgens (hitting), Rich Dauer (first base) and Gary Pettis (third base) came on with Hinch, while Alonzo Powell (assistant hitting) just completed his first season with the Astros

    Gurriel retains rookie status for 2017

    ANAHEIM, Calif. --- Yulieski Gurriel was one of several regulars to sit the Astros' final game of the season Sunday at Angel Stadium.

    One byproduct of his absence from the game? Gurriel will still be a rookie in 2017 and thus eligible for next year's American League Rookie of the Year Award at age 33.

    The $47.5-million Cuban infielder finished one at-bat short of exhausting his rookie status this season. Major League Baseball rules state a player is considered a rookie unless in the previous season he "exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched" or accumulated more than 45 days of service time, which Gurriel did not.

    Gurriel batted .262 with a .677 on-base plus slugging percentage in 36 games after the Astros signed him in July to a five-year deal. The rigorous every day nature of the MLB schedule was an adjustment for him. He was 7 for 46 in his last 12 games.

    Gurriel will spend his offseason in Miami, where he worked out in the months between his February defection and his joining the Astros.

    "I'm really excited to have a good offseason and come into spring training really healthy and in really good shape to help the team win," he said through a translator.​
     
  6. mick fry

    mick fry Member

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    Despite failing to reach the postseason and being eliminated before their final weekend, the Astros will retain their entire Major League coaching staff for the 2017 season.


    This is rediculous, aside from Correa and Altuve in the middle infield "we are open for business" and yet you're "not" going to explore better options in the staff? At the very least, I mean very least Pettis is a move that has to be made and Hudgens should be uncomfortable as hell.
     
  7. raining threes

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    Risk-Reward and they have the $$$$$ to take these kinds of risks.
     
  8. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    Hitting coach for the Astros is starting to feel like ST coach for the Texans. Just a black hole.
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Who is the best hitting coach in baseball today? Who has historically been the best hitting coaches of all time?

    Much like special teams coaches, I think the fans care more about these things than MLB teams do. Somebody would have to generate real data showing how much a hitting coach can improve an existing lineup of players from their previous performance.
     
  10. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Yes, you would get a good amount for McCullers in trade.
     
  11. mick fry

    mick fry Member

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    You could say the same about a third base coach.
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    I should have added... as of now, in his post-injury/pre-rehabbed state.

    Once he proves he's recovered from this injury without requiring surgery, value returns... but that won't be till next season.

    If they want to move him at his lowest value, I don't perceive they'll get as much for him.
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Every fanbase at some point complains about the hitting coach. Only clutchfans cares about the third base coach and his front-office-based decisions to "send errrybody!"
     
  14. Yaosthirdleg

    Yaosthirdleg Member

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    Bregman at third, Correa at short, and Altuve at second are locks. Springer is most likely ticketed for right again. What about the other outfield spots? Catcher? First? DH? pitching?


    So what do you guys do? The starting pitching market in free agency is dreadful except for Hellickson and Rich Hill. Hill is old and made of glass while Hellickson is just okay. Cashner as well as Liriano will be free agents also but would be more of reclamation projects than anything else. Will the Red Sox decline their option on Buchholz? He would be a somewhat interesting option. But the 'Stros will need to trade if they want a legit TOR guy. I think Sale is a long shot. Archer and Quintana are more likely. I would even take someone like Teheran. Any other suggestions? Go after lesser guys like Robbie Ray, Pineda, Andriese, and Ervin Santana while also letting guys like Feliz, Paulino, Devenski, and Martes battle for a spot in the rotation as well? McCullers and Keuchel are question marks healthwise. Keuchel less so than McCullers. McHugh is a lock for the rotation imo. Musgrove isn't a lock but I like him. Fiers is an okay BOR guy but not a lock.

    What do they do in the outfield? Free agent outfielders include Cespedes, Fowler, Desmond, Reddick, Saunders, and Bautista. I would also throw in Lourdes Gurriel. Do you keep Springer in right along with Marisnick in center and then add one of these guys in left? Or just play Yuli in left? Trade for Braun and put him in left? Trade for Inciarte? Bring in someone like Jon Jay? Could Justin Turner play left?

    What do they do at first? Give Reed another shot? Play Yuli there? Sign Encarnacion or Morales and put them there? Trumbo? Valbuena? Justin Turner? Napoli? Moss? Moreland? Pearce? Lind? Pedro Alvarez? Trade for Braun and put him at first? Votto? Freddie Freeman? Jose Abreu?

    Catcher? It looks like they'll re-sign Castro to a relatively small deal and pair him with Gattis again. Hopefully Garrett Stubbs will be a guy to emerge here.

    DH? Just rotate guys but have it be Gattis a decent chunk of the time? Yuli? Sign guys like Bautista, Morales, Encarnacion, or Beltran to be the sole DH? Others?

    Bullpen? Go for a big fish like Chapman, Melancon, or Jansen?
     
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    The Astros have a lot of flexibility so where players end up on the field will largely depend on what they get done this off season. Bregman could end up in the outfield still and depending, Springer could be in centerfield. A lot depends on what position the Astros add a bat at.

    The White Sox are far more likely to deal Chris Sale than Jose Quintana. Sale has seen his velocity fluctuate, is unpopular with his teammates and the front office and he is unhappy with the White Sox. Don Cooper has a lot of power in the White Sox decisions concerning pitching and he is a huge supporter of Quintana.

    The Astros are not likely to sign a starter in free agency as the market is thin and it is a waste of financial assets. They targeted reclaimation prospects with a high upside at the deadline. Michael Pineda, Y. Ventura and others are all possible.

    As far as the closer position is concerned, the Astros are likely to stay within the organization. The under the radar player the Astros have followed closely is Greg Holland. If the club has an extra 7-8 million, I could see them take a chance on him bouncing back.

    There are a number of 1st base/outfield bats available in free agency and trade. I don't think they will have an issue getting a good one. The Astros should have the financial ability to sign such a bat to a fairly high shorter contract.

    Jason Castro very well could get more money on the open market than the Astros view him as worth. They can trade for an adequate backstop while getting Gattis at bats behind the plate. Also Norris, Voight and McCann all will be on the market in trade.

    I suspect DH/1st will be an area the Astros use to rest players from other spots. Someone like a Kendry Morales or Jose Abreu would add stability to the line up; but the cost may be prohibitive.

    Ryan Braun is an excellent fit, but he is likely headed to the Dodgers this summer.
     
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  16. Progs

    Progs Member

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    Astros need an Ace.
     
  17. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    The Astros Need to Rebuild — And No Player on the Roster is Safe
    BY JOHN ROYAL

    It’s safe to call this Houston Astros season a disappointment. After a 8-1 loss to the Angels yesterday, the team finished with a 84-78 record, missing out on the playoffs that many felt the Astros were destined for after the team's strong finish last year.

    The team never quite jelled this season. There was the 7-16 record for April. Then there was winning only four of 19 games against the Texas Rangers. Dallas Keuchel never lived up to last season’s Cy Young campaign and missed most of the last two months with an injury. Fellow hoped-for rotation mainstay Lance McCullers spent most of the season on the disabled list, and Collin McHugh, Doug Fister, Mike Fiers and Scott Feldman (until he was demoted to the bullpen, then traded) were all inconsistent.


    The less said about the seasons of Cobly Rasmus and Carlos Gomez the better, and their lack of offensive production was really felt on a team that was nightly hoping that someone would step up and help out Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. Alex Bregman and Yulieski Gurriel showed some promise at the end of the season, but the Astros were often caught lacking a solid, dependable bat in the second half of the lineup.

    There’ll be many words written about the Astros this offseason and about the moves the club needs to make. The answer is simple, kind of. The Astros need an ace pitcher, an outfield bat and a designated hitter. But the team has to start spending money on big-name free agents and not guys that can be got on the cheap like Rasmus and Fister. And the team is going to have to start using that deep farm system (as well as guys on the major league roster) to make moves that will further improve the ball club.

    For instance, one of the most popular names in baseball at the past trade deadline was Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale. Sale is 27 years old with a career record of 74-50. His fastball can hit the high-90s, he stays healthy, throws more than 200 innings a year and averages more than 10 strikeouts a game. Of more importance is this: He’s under contract for 2017 with a team option for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

    The White Sox didn’t trade Sale at the deadline, despite the best efforts of teams like the Dodgers and Red Sox. But the White Sox farm system isn’t the best, and the team probably won’t be competing for the playoffs anytime soon. And though he says he wants to stay in Chicago, Sale has feuded with management this season, whether being scratched from a start after slicing up the team’s uniforms because he hates throwback uniforms, or whining about the team cutting back on the time that Adam LaRoche’s kid could spend in the clubhouse.

    The Astros should do everything possible to make Sale the ace of the Astros rotation. The White Sox are a mediocre team with a so-so farm system, so the Astros should just open up the farm and tell the White Sox that they’re welcome to whomever they want. And though fans might not want to hear this, Astros management should also be thinking that no player on the major league roster is untouchable. Not when it comes to delivering one of the best pitchers in baseball to the Astros.

    There will also be lots of fans clamoring for the Astros to add a big bat to help out the offense. The name that most will mention Edwin Encarnacion. The 33-year-old Blue Jay plays first base, third base and DH, has 310 career homers and will be a free agent this offseason. But if the Astros are really serious, management will take a dump truck full of cash, drive it to Citi Field, and unload the dough on top of one of the fancy cars owned by Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

    Cespedes is 30 years old, can play all of the outfield spots and has a monster bat, having hit 137 homers with 453 RBI and a .273/.326/.495 slash line in five major league seasons. Cespedes is technically under contract to the Mets for two more seasons after this one, but he can exercise an option after this season is over and become a free agent. An outfield featuring Cespedes and George Springer with a guy like Jake Marisnick would be the best in baseball, and Cespedes would provide another, dependable bat for the Astros.

    Finally, if Carlos Beltran is open to another season of the baseball, then the Astros should try and find a way to sign him. He’s no longer an everyday outfielder, but he’s still a dependable bat who provides average and power.

    Of course, it’s not my money, and I’m not the general manager of the Astros. But these additions would immensely improve the rotation and provide some additional and much needed bats to go with the core three of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer.

     
  18. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Cespedes and Beltran would be great offseason FA signings.

    A good thing about a Beltran deal would be that the terms would be limited (2 years, $25-30 large) so as to not block any prospects we have in the pipe like Kyle Tucker.
     
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  19. Progs

    Progs Member

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    If I was the White Sox I would want:
    Kyle Tucker
    Forrest Whitley
    Cionel Perez
    Jason Martin

    Astros get:
    Chris Sale (Top 5 MLB starting pitcher....young, prime and under contract 3 more years at a fair price)

    :eek:
     
  20. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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