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Astros OK if they stand pat?? i dont think so, Jim Molony does!

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by trickywhiteguy, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. trickywhiteguy

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    In their ongoing quest to bring Houston the best team $106 million can buy, the brains of the Astros organization -- owner Drayton McLane, president Tal Smith, general manager Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner -- met for a couple hours at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday afternoon.

    Details of that session were not forthcoming, but with the deadline to make trades without going through waivers only six days away, you can bet your box seats the Big Four discussed what options might be available and the wisdom in pursuing any or none of them.

    While there is no question a Houston offense that ranks next to last in the National League in runs could use another bat, the Astros already have made one upgrade with the recent acquisition of Aubrey Huff, and third baseman Morgan Ensberg will be returning from the disabled list soon. The pitching staff has been bolstered recently with the addition of Roger Clemens and the return of Brandon Backe.

    With those moves, and the return to good health of Ensberg and Lance Berkman, who did not start Tuesday's game against Cincinnati because of a groin strain, there is a case to be made that the Houston roster already is capable of getting this team back to the postseason -- and if so, why tinker further when there is really no clear upgrade available in this seller's market?

    More and more, the Astros are asking themselves the same thing.

    Sure, they probably could obtain a guy like Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada, but at a cost that would likely gut the team's present bullpen and future prospects. To make such a deal for a player who could be gone in two months, since he could then turn around and demand a trade at season's end, would be foolish.

    The Astros probably could pick up lefty reliever Damaso Marte of the Pirates or Aaron Fultz of the Phillies for the price of a couple of prospects, but would that be the best use of assets and would they really be difference-makers in the bullpen?

    As much as the offense has struggled and as many inconsistent performances this team has had in the first 100 games, the Astros entered play Tuesday only five games out in the Wild Card race. That's hardly an insurmountable hole for a team that usually plays much better after the All-Star break and one that hasn't been at full strength.

    The fans naturally are clamoring for Purpura to add offense, but fans generally are impatient.

    Purpura took heat for standing pat last year, and his patience was vindicated when the Astros caught fire and reached the World Series. This year's team potentially is even better than last year's, although frustrating performances like Tuesday night's 2-0 loss to Aaron Harang and the Reds may make it hard to believe that.

    Going the trade route might be advisable if there were compelling targets out there, but unlike two summers ago, there are no Carlos Beltrans on the market this time.

    This time, going with what they've got is the right move for the Astros, and apparently the course they will take.

    "We're really not close to anything right now," McLane said. "We have a $106 million budget -- it's the third-highest in Major League Baseball. I hope that shows to all of our fans our commitment to winning."

    Garner agreed lack of money isn't the problem.

    "I can't complain with the money we spend around here," Garner said. "We've not been pinching pennies. We have a budget that should win, let's put it that way."

    The Reds overspent for bullpen help because they knew they had no choice. Cincinnati could not remain in the playoff picture without the additions.

    The Houston situation is different. The Astros can win without any more roster additions, just as they did last year. If Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge pitch like they can pitch, and Berkman, Ensberg, Huff, Mike Lamb and Chris Burke hit like they can hit, this team is good enough to reach the playoffs again.

    The pieces are in place if the Astros can stay patient and let the other contenders worry about Monday's deadline.

    "I've been in business over 40 years, and some of the best business deals you make are the ones you don't make," McLane said.

    http://houston.astros.mlb.com/NASAp...ontent_id=1575497&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp
     
  2. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    I realize he's been putting in the money needed, but it seriously rubs me the wrong way when he continuously smears comments like this one in our faces.

    I hope the fact that we keep filling up the Juice Box shows our commitment to your team.
     
  3. Kerfeld

    Kerfeld Contributing Member

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    The only reason the payroll is as high as it this year, is because for years the Astros have backloaded their contracts for years and this is the year when it all finally came due.
     
  4. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    vomit. fine, you're not going to make a trade; but don't insult our intelligence when justifying the decision. offensively, alfonso soriano is better than carlos beltran was in 2004. by quite a wide margin. and he is most assuredly available.

    if tejada and/or lee are dealt, they, too, are every bit the offensive spark beltran was with considerably more power. and how is demanding a trade any more of a deterrent than beltran being in the final year of his contract?

    ugh. don’t assume we’re all morons... this is when i wish the astros would employ a fan who had the autonomy to say things like, “uhm, drayton… yeah, utter bull****, and everyone knows it. be honest; they’ll respect you more in the end.”

    how do people feel about this quote? it kind of bothers me a bit. i've never been a drayton basher. ever. i think he's the best owner in town.

    and i understand and respect $106M is $106M and it all comes out of his pocket no matter how you slice it. i don't begrudge him that. but does anyone else agree he's using that number a little loosely?

    take away bagwell's $18M, and the actual "on the field" payroll is $88M (it was actually about $76M before clemens) - still very healthy; but at the start of the season, it would have ranked around 10th, bunched with three other teams with $88M payrolls.

    what i find disingenuous is that the organization tries to sell it, and justify their baseball decisions, as if it is a $106M team and it's not. and compromises have been made on the field while they try to convince us that they’re trotting out a $106M team every night. it's simply not true.

    again, $106M is $106M, and drayton has to write those checks, so i'm not complaining; and an $88M payroll is OK by me; i have no complaints about that, either. i'm complaining that the organization is using the "third highest payroll" ranking disingenuously, imo. anyone else agree?
     
  5. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    I don't agree at all. Most other owners, saddled with paying someone $18 million (actually, how many owners are even paying one person $18 million?) for doing nothing wouldn't be willing to go out and expand that payroll.

    The fact that Bagwell isn't playing makes the $106 million payroll more impressive. He invested a ton of money (whether it was backloaded or not) in someone who is not living up to their end of the contract. Instead of stewing about that, Drayton has shown the willingness to go out and spend money to improve this team.

    And for the **** that he's received from fans over the years, despite putting out an exceptional product, I wouldn't blame Drayton for saying, "kiss my rich old white ass you ****in' whiners, enjoy the next season of $30 million payroll". But he's too classy for that.
     
  6. rcoleman15

    rcoleman15 Contributing Member

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    You know what is really sad about all this? Most people assume we would be paying Tejada 12 million dollars if we traded for him this season. When infact we would only be paying him 4 million dollars over the course of the last two months. Tejada's contract is for 12 million over the course of the entire season or 6 months. That equates out to two million dollars a month so infact we would only be paying him 4 million dollars over the course of the last two months.
     
  7. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    How is that sad again?
     
  8. rcoleman15

    rcoleman15 Contributing Member

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    Because people are using either one of two arguements against this trade. 1) The prospects arguement or 2) the money arguemnt.

    And it is sad because this isn't over 12 million dollars for the people who are making the moneu arguement. It is infact over 4 million and that isn't alot for a possible chance at the playoffs and the world series.
     
  9. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    and that right there is where my cage is being rattled. yes, you're right; but he's only willing to improve it up to a point because of the bagwell contract and then shoving the payroll ranking at us to justify their course.

    again, i'm pro drayton; i am. the team's performance may frustrate me, but i think he's been a great owner overall, and i've never ripped him. i do think he takes far too many us for morons (we're not all small town hicks, drayton), but overall, hard to complain.

    having said that - i think he and the team are being disingenous. this team was constructed with a handicap: bagwell's salary, but it's trying to pretend it wasn't, like they've been out spending madly to make the team better. eh.... not exactly. they would not have the third highest payroll in baseball if bagwell's deal had been voidable. and that's fine. but don't try to sell that you would.
     
  10. Blake

    Blake Contributing Member

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    Our offense is pathetic. Second worst in the NL. We have starters that come out and pitch 2 or 3 run ballgames, and you get quotes from our players like this (Ausmus last night):

    "Aaron Harang has pitched very well against us and has got very good stuff," Astros catcher Brad Ausmus said. "In my opinion, he's probably the most underrated pitcher in the National League. He's tough on both righties and lefties with an A-plus slider. We knew one run would make a difference, and when they got that second run it sort of sealed it off."


    Does this sound like a team confident in it's offense. We need to make a move. We should give up prospects. We have enough young pitching and young hitters to give up some farm talent. Timmy P better step it up. Aubrey Huff, while a good move, has been a joke. It's like Ensberg all over again...but with a weaker arm in the field
     
  11. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    Prospects are exactly that....prospects. For every Roy O, there are probably 10 Scott Elartons, Chris Trubys or even Jason Lanes.

    I think when guys like Tejada, Soriano (not saying he is even on our radar) or anyone else like that which requires a prospect or 2 in return, go for it...especially a guy like Tejada who is locked up for 2 or 3 more years already. Soriano is different because he is a free agent at season's end. That being said, if wash would take back Preston Wilson (who actually played well for them) and a prospect, id do it. That seems to be all they want from other teams.

    We can replenish the farm.
     
  12. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    i agree, except i wouldn't deal prospects for soriano. i'd love to have him, but not for two months.

    tejada, at least, gives you a foundation to build around. he, burke, berkman, oswalt and lidge/qualls/wheeler is a pretty damn good nucelus.
     
  13. Major

    Major Member

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    So what makes you think getting another player will be any better than Huff?

    Look, this team sucks right now, but it's not something that can be fixed with a trade. To win a World Series (or even make the playoffs), you have to have a good collection of talent (we do), and most of those guys have to perform to expectations with a few performing above expectations. Last year, the White Sox pitching staff performed well above expectations. For us, Ensberg, Ausmus (in the 2nd half), Petttitte, Clemens, Qualls, and Wheeler performed above expectations, and that took a good team and made it great.

    If you look at this team right now, no one is performing above expectations except some part-time players (Burke, Lamb), who weren't even supposed to be starting. On the opposite side, most players are performing below expectations - Biggio, Ausmus, Everett, Ensberg, Wilson, Willy T, Oswalt, Pettitte, Qualls, Wheeler, Lidge. A trade doesn't solve anything. Unless these guys perform at least to what was reasonably expected, adding Tejada isn't going to make one bit of a difference. An extra bat won't make this team go from scoring 3 runs a game to 6 runs a game - it's just a matter of the current bats actually doing something.
     
  14. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    The money is fine...the CHEMISTRY isn't.

    DD
     
  15. Major

    Major Member

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    Keep in mind that Tejada can demand a trade at the end of the season as a player being traded in the middle of a multi-year deal.
     
  16. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    big difference between demanding a trade and being a free agent; we have no idea if he'll exercise his right and if he were to do so, the team can at least recoup some of what it lost to get him; it's not like he'd walk away for nothing.

    but as far as i can recall, no player has ever done this.
     
  17. Surfguy

    Surfguy Contributing Member

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    This season is all about individual player failures...specifically as applies to offense. Biggio, Taveras, Everett, Ausmus, Ensberg, Lane, Bruntlett, Palmeiro...all failed to do as well last season and improve themselves this season. They pretty much did a nosedive on us. While our pitching has been spotty at times, with an anemic offense like ours...every pitching mistake is magnified many times.
     
  18. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    true...but that means you get something back for him....probably prospects
     
  19. candlegreen

    candlegreen Contributing Member

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    Each team has a BUDGET to what they're willing to spend. The Astros have gone over that budget year after year to try to win. They've BEEN winning for most of the past decade. What's the argument? So Bagwell cost 18 Andy and Roger does NOT come back and Roy tampers with FA, what are you left with? Now imagine that all you have is Backe and Buchholtz and you don't have Hirsh or Nieve read and Pence, your ONLY reliable hitter in the minors might be gone too. In addition, you lose whatever else Lidge could've possibly given you, assuming he could make a career comeback.

    There are a lot to this than the "4 million dollars." Also, there's a chance he'll pull a Beltran and opt out and you're stuck with virtually nothing. (maybe a compensation draftpick) Then what will Drayton McLane have to endure? MORE bashing from you guys.... This is not the Yankees, and McLane has spent money time and time again. KEEPING YOU OWN GUYS cost money. Bagwell's signed to a heavy end contract because he spent money early to acquire other talents. Hidalgo, Alou, Kent, Wagner, etc. cost money. Bagwell's contract is constructed so we have a good chance of winning DURING his prime. He's paying for it now, one of 2 consecutive seasons where experts EVERYWHERE suggest that it's time for the Astros to rebuild and reload. Most teams can't handle that many years in the top because trades for better players will kill your farm system. Braves were lucky with their farm system that they were always to just rely on home grown talent for the most part. Yankees have the money to attract FAs so they don't care, but their farm is depleted. Same goes with Boston. To disregard Bagwell's 18 million just because he's not playing is ridiculous.

    Why be angry that he kept mentioning the payroll? It's because people KEEP bashing him for "not" spending money. People bash him because we're not the highest bidder on players? If you high bid for 3 players (Let's say Berkman/Oswalt/Beltran) for about 13/14/17 million a year.... that's 44 million. Let's add the 15 or so from Pettite and another 18 for Roger, that's 77 million. Then don't complain if the club add a bunch of Brad Ausmuses and Adam Everetts to complete the lineup. Why? Because you have Lidge, Biggio, Ensberg and 17 other players in the 25 man roster. You see why it's hard to bid high on EVERY player? That's why teams CONTEND and BID for a player. If 5 teams want a player badly, don't be so upset EACH time the Astros didn't come out the winner. I mean, seriously..., people are ready to crucify management and the owner every time someone gets a player. I don't remember an 80 man roster. Every time someone else makes a move, it's "why didn't the Astros get him? Drayton and Purpura disappoints me." Every time we got someone, and he doesn't work out, it's "stupid money spent. We could've gotten player x, y, z, or player 3.14159) People hit and miss. And the misses stay longer because those are bad contracts and no one wants them. After so many years of trying to make a contender, you're bound to keep a bunch of misses and start over. If that's the case, then I'm with the Astros during times which they aren't winning. You can do whatever you want during that time, but don't be spoiled.
     
  20. rcoleman15

    rcoleman15 Contributing Member

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    Uh Beltran was a free agent to begin with so he didn't opt out of anything.
     

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