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Surveying the wreckage. Lineup possibilites for 2005.

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Xenon, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. Xenon

    Xenon Contributing Member

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    It's becoming clear that Beltran will not resign with Houston. So where do we go from here? For the Astros to be successful the lineup must become more balanced, but this is something that will take years to fix. Bagwells contract is such a killer that we just have to live with his production and over the next couple of years try to find players to facilitate dropping him down the order. Till then all we can do is make some small improvements to have a more balanced offensive setup. My dream lineup for 2005 is as follows.

    CF Ford/Stewart
    SS Garciaparra
    RF Berkman
    1B Bagwell
    LF Lane
    2B Biggio
    C LeCroy
    3B Ensberg

    We trade Everett/Burke and Lamb to Minn. for Stewart and LeCroy. If we can somehow manage to pry Ford from them that will be even better. This gives a much more balanced offense with no rally killers at the bottom of the order. Ausmus can be the defensive replacement in the late innings.

    The starting pitching looks to be set with Oswalt, Clemens, Pettite, Miller and Backe. We must do everything we can to resign Miller and Clemens. The season is lost if both Clemens and Miller are gone.
     
  2. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    why is that clear to you?? i say it's a 50/50 shot.
     
  3. drapg

    drapg Member

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    If we can afford to sign that quitter and pouter Garciaparra, I'd rather ante up a few million more and keep Beltran.
     
  4. Xenon

    Xenon Contributing Member

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    Jesus people. Beltran wants to play for New York. After all the attention and love Houston has shown him doesn't it seem odd to you that he doesn't even comment on staying here? You guys have to face reality and move on. Sign Nomar for 3/30 and this offense won't lose too much with Beltran departing.
     
  5. Rocket Fan

    Rocket Fan Member

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    what leads you to think it's 50/50.....?

    he sure doesn't seem to be saying the things that make me think he's staying.. it is inappropriate to be talking about the cubs etc in mid playoffs.. like he was...

    and we aren't going to offer him the most money ..

    Go back to midseason when we aquired him.. the astros themselves pretty much said its a rental...
     
  6. Phillyrocket

    Phillyrocket Member

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    If no Beltran I'd like to see us make a run at Adrian Beltre a great player in his own right with a comparable prive tag. Miller I feel is gone and to me it's not that big of a loss. He's just too injury prone to give a big contract. This team has weathered the loss of a lot of arms over the last few years Kile, Hampton, Reynolds, Elarton, etc. and we keep replacing them. Miller will be no different. Should trade him though get something for him. I'm not really worried about the pitching even if Clemens doesn't come back, though I'd love to see a solid setup guy added. With Kent, Beltran, and maube Biggio gone we need to add a big bat.
     
  7. Rocket Fan

    Rocket Fan Member

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    we didn't suddenly get so rich....

    have you all looked at our payroll.. we have to pay andy more this year than last year.. we are full of backloaded contracts..

    I just can't see us adding another superstar... after doing it last summer
     
  8. Xenon

    Xenon Contributing Member

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    Beltre=Richard Hidalgo II

    I'd rather the Astros spend money on people that have had more than 1 good season. ie. Miller, Berkman and Nomar.
     
  9. VesceySux

    VesceySux Contributing Member

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    I still think it's a bit early to do this, but I'll play along (mock off-season plan 1.0):

    As much as I love Bagwell and Biggio, it's time for them to go (and I say so with heavy heart, because Bags is my favorite player). As long as they're here, we won't be able to transition to the "new guard." (Would anyone trade for Bagwell? I don't know. Probably not.) Also, Kent's a goner, and if possible, so is Ausmus (but I believe he has another year on his deal). Burke takes over for Kent. Lane takes over for Biggio. Bring up Taveras as well. Move Berkman to first. Try VERY FREAKING hard to sign Beltran. Keep Lamb around on the bench. Play Chavez more often (assuming we have to keep Ausmus). Make a run at/show interest in the following free agents (but pick ONE to sign, if Drayton approves a payroll increase or Beltran goes elsewhere): Varitek, Glaus, Lowell, Beltre, Garciaparra, Renteria, Ordonez.

    As for the pitching, plead with Roger to come back. Kick Miceli, Springer, and Munro to the curb. Keep Wheeler, Qualls, Gallo (lefty!), and Harville. Throw Backe in the rotation. Trade two of our pitchers (Redding, Miller, Hernandez, Buchholz) for a top relief pitcher. Make a run at/show interest in the following free agents: Scott Williamson, Antonio Alfonseca, Felix Rodriguez, Steve Kline, Paul Byrd, Jose Lima, Brad Radke, Esteban Loaiza.

    Just one fan's opinion, albeit not a very good one. :) I doubt we'll have the money to pursue a top-flight free agent, so my free agent list is just wishful thinking at this point. However, if Drayton doesn't try to sign Beltran, the city of Houston will crucify him, so at least we have that...
     
  10. edc

    edc Contributing Member

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    He may have resurrected his career, but "Lima Time" will not be returning to Minute Maid Park (thank goodness!) except as a visitor.
     
  11. VesceySux

    VesceySux Contributing Member

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    Oh, c'mon. Drayton will sign him for the Casa Ole commercials alone. The dude's a fan favorite. Plus, we get Mrs. Lima, too.
     
  12. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Williamson is a FA? He's a local guy if memory serves, and would help resurrect that nasty end game we used to have.

    My thought is Kent goes, Beltran and Biggio stay. We go with:

    Biggio
    Burke or Everett
    Beltran
    Bagwell
    Berkman
    Ensberg
    Everett or Burke
    Ausmus
    Pitcher

    Lane and Lamb, Vizcaino or Bruntlett, Chavez, etc. coming off the bench

    Rocket stays, Miller is traded for relief pitching, salary breathing room, and prospects.

    Clemens, Oswalt, Pettitte, Backe, Buchholz/Astacio/Hernandez/FA

    Lidge, Qualls, Wheeler are pretty sure for the pen. That leaves probably 4 slots for guys who don't make the rotation and or free agents- hopefully one more late inning guy like Williamson, plus a lefty or two.

    I found this site which seems to be a good FA list: http://home.earthlink.net/~pdave/id5.html

    The guys I would look at:
    Position Players (I'm assuming Bagwell, Everett are sure things on the infield)-
    Todd Walker- 2B
    Placido Polanco 2B/3B (if we get rid of Kent and don't trust Burke)
    Corey Koskie 3B - lefty bat, steady glove
    Mike Lowell- 3B
    Joe Randa- 3B
    Magglio Ordonez- OF (if we lose Beltran)
    JD Drew- OF (if we lose Beltran)

    Pitchers-
    Jeff D'Amico
    Kevin Jarvis
    Mike DeJean
    Billy Koch
     
    #12 NIKEstrad, Oct 22, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2004
  13. VesceySux

    VesceySux Contributing Member

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    I think Gallo stays. He was the only lefty relief pitcher on our playoff roster.
     
  14. Xenon

    Xenon Contributing Member

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    Rocket Fan does make a very good point. The Astros probably aren't going to increase payroll much. With that in mind some low cost alternatives to what I posted. These salaries are guessimates. We'll have to wait and see what the real numbers are, but this should give you a general idea.

    2B Burke (~350k? -8.65mil over Kent)
    3B Ensberg (~500k-1mil? + 100k or so?)
    RF Berkman (~8mil per? +~2mil)
    1B Bagwell 15mil (+2 mil)
    LF Lane (~350k -2.65mil over Biggio)
    SS Everett(~500k + 120k)
    CF Lofton/Glanville (500k-2mil -13mil over Beltran)
    C Ausmus (3mil)

    That should leave enough to sign Miller and Clemens to a decent contract. This lineup certainly won't scare anyone but if we can bring back all our starters the Astros can still win some games next season.
     
  15. mulletman

    mulletman Member

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    after reading the thread with the njledger article about beltran, it seems like the astros arent necessarily one of his 1st choices.

    assuming he leaves, ordonez would be a good replacement, though i'm not sure the astros will be able to afford him either (he made $14 million this year). hes probably more of a long shot than beltran.

    anyway, check out his stats:


    yr avg-hr-rbi-sb
    1999 .301 30 117 13
    2000 .315 32 126 18
    2001 .305 31 113 25
    2002 .320 38 135 7
    2003 .317 29 99 9

    more facts: he had a knee injury last year, so i'm not sure how he will recover from that. and guess who his agent is -- its scott borass
     
  16. edc

    edc Contributing Member

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    The union would never allow it, but:

    Base salary: $1
    Bonus: $750K per victory
    Debit: $25K per homerun allowed.

    :D
     
  17. UTweezer

    UTweezer Contributing Member

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    when will Chris Burke and Willie Tavaras be ready?
     
  18. Rileydog

    Rileydog Contributing Member

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    This will be a decision tree analysis. The answers to soem questions will directly impact other questions. The key - we reload for 1 final run.

    Q1: Clemens: We need him to return. He gave this team an identity. I think he'll come back to pitch with Pettitte. His presence will be important to getting Beltran back. No matter what McLane pays him, he will be underpaid compared to what he brings to the francise on and off the field.

    Q2. Oswalt and Berkman: legitimate stars, need to get paid. Berkman will give some hometown discount. Both have to be signed to have a shot at Beltran. Berkman is the heir apparent to Baggy at 1st when his contract expires.

    Q3. Beltran: Time to spend. McLane can count on 3MM plus attendance again. We need Clemens, Oswalt and Berkman in the fold as a part of our "offer" to Beltran.

    Q4. If we lose Beltran, there will be an outfield vacancy. That likely means that we bring back Biggio (I'm not a huge fan of his production, but even I concede he has earned the right) and play Lane. Tavarez is the 4th outfielder.

    Q5. Kent. Sign him to a reasonable 1 year deal. Reload for 1 final run. Burke plays backup in the bigs.

    Q6. Miller: deal him for a hitter or a top quality set up man, or sign him for a modest amount. With Clemens, Oswalt, Pettitte and Backe, we have a formidable rotation. As this post-season showed, Lidge can give you 2 innings. We need one more stopper.

    The rest: We can't have stars at all positions, so Ensberg/Lamb stay, as do Everett/Vizcaino. I believe in defense at the catching spot, so Ausmus and Chavez stay. Get them a freaking hitting coach. Everyone is forced to learn how the hell to bunt.

    My prediction: we lose beltran. Our lineup will be Biggio/Everett/Baggy/Berkman/Kent/Lane/Ensberg/Ausmus/Pitcher.

    Let's keep perspective. When the season started, we were thinking world series with the pre-Beltran roster.

    If we lose Beltran and bring everyone back for one last run, what's the difference?

    I'm trying to be optimistic. Today, that's difficult.
     
  19. HillBoy

    HillBoy Contributing Member

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    Aye! As do I! Uncle George may well decide - SHOULD decide to spend $$$ on pitching. Plus Beltran would do well to heed the lesson of what happened to Alex "Payrod" Rodriguez this year. If the Cards can afford Pujols the surely the Astros can find the $$$ to keep Beltran. After all, how much sense does it make to pay a clearly declining Bagwell $17 million and then say that they have no money for a 5 tool player of Beltran's caliber?
     
  20. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    Burke is ready. He was PCL rookie of the year this season. He will be at 2B on opening day barring some kind of miracle.

    Taveres will probably start back at AAA depending on Beltran/Biggio. I don't think he is ready for ML pitching, yet. He will probably be the first call up due to an injury or ineffective Jason Lane.

    Here is my projection for next season...

    Burke 2B
    Everett SS
    Beltran CF
    Berkman RF
    Bagwell 1B
    Lane LF
    Ensberg 3B
    Chavez/Ausmus/Free Agent C

    Bench...Biggio, Lamb, Bruntlett, back up catcher, Free agent power bat

    SP...Oswalt, Pettitte, Miller, Backe, one of Hernandez/Houlton/Buckholz

    RP...Lidge, Qualls, Wheeler, Harville, 2 free agent lefty's, Santiago Rameriez.

    Based on Rome and Dan Patrick interviews today, I get the strong feeling that Rocket will not be back. Kent's $9 million team option will not be picked up. Biggio's $3 million team option will be picked up only if he agrees to a utility role. Viz is gone as a free agent. I would rather we get rid of Ausmus and sign a free agent. If we don't get Beltran back, we should definitely go hard after Jason Varitek. I do, however, think that we will get Beltran back.

    The top 2 of my projected lineup seems weak. For those of you that don't know Chris Burke, he will suprise many. He is a good player. He hits similar to Everett, but with a little more power. He is going to be able to hit the gaps and turn those into triples. With Everett, Burke and Beltran up the middle, we should be much improved defesively. A lot of those weak hits last night will be outs next season. You might switch Ensberg with Everett, but then lose any chance of power out of the bottom.
     
    #20 leroy, Oct 22, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2004
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