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If The Astros Become Sellers...

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by rockets934life, May 5, 2010.

  1. rockets934life

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    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/05/if-the-astros-become-sellers.html

    The Astros are ten games under .500 and 9.5 games back in the NL Central. 84% of the season remains, so they've got plenty of time to right the ship. It's difficult to imagine this organization selling. Recent history: on July 22nd, 2008, they were 12 games back in the division and 11 out in the wild card. GM Ed Wade acquired Randy Wolf anyway, and the team went 40-22 from that point and finished 3.5 games out of the wild card. The Astros hate to quit on a season, but let's suspend our disbelief and look at who'd be available if they did sell.

    Carlos Lee could be attractive to teams if he starts hitting, except for the $55.5MM owed to him over 2010-12 and the full no-trade clause. Here's what ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote about Lee a year ago: "One club that inquired about him over the winter says it was told Lee has already informed the Astros he's 'not going anywhere' as long as his no-trade is in place." The no-trade apparently becomes partial after 2010.

    Roy Oswalt is pitching well, with his best strikeout rate in years. He's owed $31MM for 2010-11 and has a $16MM mutual option for 2012. Stark heard from an Oswalt friend last month that the pitcher's preferred destinations are Atlanta, St. Louis, and Texas, if a trade becomes necessary. The friend also opined that Oswalt might be willing to accept a trade to a team with a deep rotation, aside from those three. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports talked to Oswalt in February; he spoke about retiring after the 2011 season. Oswalt made it clear that he'd want a trade if the Astros went into rebuilding mode. Wade implied the team's asking price for their ace would be prohibitive.

    Then there's Lance Berkman, who earns $14.5MM this year and has a $15MM club option for 2011 with a $2MM buyout. He also has a full no-trade. Berkman suggested in February he'd look elsewhere if the Astros decline the option, a decision they'll make toward the end of the season or after it. Stark wrote recently that "there is also a lot of buzz that assuming the Astros pick up Berkman's $15 million option for next year, they'll tack on a short extension." Stark talked to a Berkman friend who feels the first baseman is most likely to finish his career with the Astros.

    Kaz Matsui has a limited no-trade clause; he's earning $5MM in the last year of his deal. He's losing playing time to Jeff Keppinger and has negative trade value. Similarly, Pedro Feliz at $4.5MM wouldn't net much.

    Wandy Rodriguez is under club control through 2011; he's earning $5MM this year after losing an arbitration hearing. He's a bit of a late bloomer, and swapping him for cheaper, controllable arms would have to be considered. The Astros could also offer a rental in Brett Myers, who earns $3.1MM this year with a $2MM buyout for 2011. Myers has been hittable, but otherwise pretty good this year. Veterans such as Brian Moehler, Tim Byrdak, Geoff Blum, and Jason Michaels would probably be available.

    Catcher J.R. Towles could be dealt regardless of the Astros' status. He's frustrated about being demoted to Double A, and told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart he has to talk to his agent to see what his options are. The 26-year-old has shown offensive promise in the high minors but it hasn't carried over yet. The Astros' catcher of the future, Jason Castro, is playing at Triple A Round Rock.
     
  2. Major Malcontent

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    I don't mind the Astros being terrible this year (well I mind but it doesn't make me angry)...what's upsetting is being terrible with no reasonable hope of much improvement. Jason Castro probably isn't Joe Mauer, Jordan Lyles probably isn't Tim Lincecum...so we are looking at a couple of possible solid but unspectacular Major Leagers.

    We have to realize we aren't gonna be champions for a while (which is anathema to Drayton) and move out talent for young guys in numbers, and hope one or two of them become stars.

    Right now no one on the infield except Berkman looks like even a serviceable starter, it appears Hunter Pence is an average #6 type hitting corner infielder.

    Bourn is young and probably a building block, but really there isn't anyone on the ML roster I wouldn't listen to offers for.
     
  3. juicystream

    juicystream Member

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    The question is what can you get for them? I'm looking to trade everybody except Bourn, who is one of the most entertaining players in baseball. And I'm looking to go super young. I want to build around Jason Lyles. I want the youngest team in baseball by 2012. No more signing Matsui/Lyon/Feliz stopgaps. Go all in on international FAs and the draft. Don't forget to grab a player in the Rule V draft. Lets get this done.
     
  4. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    i agree with most of that. But not "no more stopgaps"... our farm system isn't stocked enough to go without stopgaps (without putting out a product that's far worse than every team in baseball). I like the Loretta and Pudge type stopgaps while rebuilding.. 1 year deals late in the FA game relatively cheaply for guys that haven't generated interest. Also might pick up a guy or 2 who could net you a pick or a prospect in a trade. a la Myers
     
  5. leroy

    leroy Member

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    Bourn might be the only player I'd make untouchable at this point. He's young, cheap, under club control, and getting better by the day. Pence is regressing at a pace which could only be matched by Morgan Ensberg (Hey Hunter...they're going to throw it down and away. Quit swinging at it like you're surprised it wasn't a fast ball down the middle). I was once one of Carlos Lee's biggest defenders. Now, I wouldn't care if they gave him away. He's quickly become completely worthless. He isn't hitting and his defense, just when you thought it wasn't possible, actually got worse. Matsui and Feliz are no longer everyday starters. Micheals, Sullivan, Keppinger & Blum are nice pieces, but not players who should be counted on to start every day. Manzella requires a little more patience to see if he an at least be a serviceable offensive player at this level.

    About the only positives at this point are the progression of Bourn, Oswalt returning to be Oswalt, Brett Myers having a decent season, and Lindstrom.
     
  6. ThaShark316_28

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    Winner in bold.

    It's sad because I know we won't sell. I'd rather a sell job than, as you stated, a team with stop gap players. I would have wanted Oswalt here with our young arms in the future, but if we sell it's not going to happen. That said, I can deal with that.


    I'd rather trade em all except Bourn and Pence...I know a lot of people don't like HP too much, but an outfield with 2/3 of it solidified makes you a better ballclub.

    I really want to deal Wandy though. You can get some ish for that guy with his contract.
     
  7. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    Trade everyone except Bourn.

    If we are going to suck, we suck hard (I'm talking Nationals type stuff of the last few years).
     
  8. juicystream

    juicystream Member

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    I like young or cheap roster fillers. Pickups like Keppinger and Lindstrom have turned out great even though they were in a trade. I'm not saying don't sign a veteran, but don't sign veterans at $5 million. Sign the Blums of the world for less than $2 million. You still have to field 25 guys, and really need at least 30 who can play due to injuries and fill out minor league rosters.
     
  9. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    Natinals. Spell it right.
     
  10. rockets934life

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/news/story?id=5165732

    Pettitte MRI reveals elbow inflammation

    If this is serious I'd call the Yanks dangling Roy and Wandy as bait. They have some intriguing assets and would be a team that wouldn't care about Roy's salary. Roy might say no but he would instantly be on a World Series favorite so that might sway him.

    Top ten prospects...

    1. Jesus Montero, c
    2. Austin Romine, c
    3. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp
    4. Slade Heathcott, of
    5. Zach McAllister, rhp
    6. Manny Banuelos, lhp
    7. Gary Sanchez, c
    8. J.R. Murphy, c
    9. Jeremy Bleich, lhp
    10. Andrew Brackman, rhp
     
  11. wallyj12

    wallyj12 Member

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    I've been calling for a firesale for quite some time now. Even if the haul of prospects we get turns out to be unspectacular compared to the talent we shipped out of here, if we are able to unload all the big chips, we will have successfully dug ourselves out of this deep financial hole that will be handcuffing us for the next couple of seasons
     
  12. The Real Shady

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    It would be more fun to cheer for young up and coming players like Bourn, Castro, and Lyles in last place then watching old players in last place that won't be around when the Astros get good again.

    I remember the last time the Astros had a fire sale, and it went pretty well. Astros gave up Glen Davis for Pete Harnish, Curt Schilling, and Steve Finley. Then they traded Larry Anderson for Jeff Bagwell.
     
  13. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Member

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    I'm with this. I haven't renewed my MLB Extra Innings subscription for a reason.

    Watching and waiting to see if Eric Anthony could hit a bomb into the upper deck every 50th game was better than watching Jeff Keppinger try to work the count for a base on balls so Carlos Lee could loaf running the base on a double play ball anyways.
     
  14. leroy

    leroy Member

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    On the Astrosdaily.com boards, someone asked the question, "Who was worse...the 1975 Astros or the 2010 Astros?" To just about everyone on there, the answer was easy. Even though the 75' Astros went 64-97, they had a young roster of up and comers...Jose Cruz, Cesar Cedeno, JR Richard, etc. Out of the 50 players that appeared for them that season, only 10 were 30 and above. In 1975, there was the beginnings of what would become a very good team. 2010 is far worse, regardless of what the record becomes, because there is no future.
     
  15. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    [rquoter]If the Astros are going to get younger at some point this season, they’ll do it with Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt on the roster, somehow. If I’m betting, I’m betting that Berkman is a virtual lock to be on the Astros roster after the trade deadline; that Carlos Lee’s contract makes him a virtual lock to stay; and that Roy Oswalt is highly unlikely to get moved. You never say never, but we feel safe in saying very improbable.


    ....


    And moving a veteran icon to get young prospects? Drayton has recently become more open to the notion of developing players and he’s more open- minded about the value of prospects. But he still prefers the proven name brand player over the guy with terrific upside. Rebuilding? He has told me in the past, “It’s not part of my make-up.” It’s an admirable stance and it’s the reason the Astros made six playoff appearances over a nine year period. But, it’s also the reason the Astros hang on to veterans until the very end.

    And then there’s Drayton’s fear that trading his established players during the season sends a message to the fans that the current season is over. Time to look ahead. McLane believes he might as well hang a banner outside of Minute Maid with the message “Don’t Bother Coming Today-We’re Re-Building.”

    On the final day of the season a few years ago, when the Astros had been officially eliminated from the playoffs, Manager Jimy Williams did not include Jeff Bagwell and other veterans in the starting line-up. It was the last day of the season. There was nothing on the line. Drayton ordered Williams to change the lineup and include the stars. McLane wanted the fans to see the players they paid to see.

    And then there’s Drayton’s weakness. He becomes emotionally attached to his stars. He is often loyal to a fault. While he may not have been mesmerized by Carlos Beltran immediately after the Astros acquired him in 2004, by the end of the playoffs that season, McLane had fallen in love. At least enough to offer Beltran the first $100 million contract in Astros history. We know the rest of that story. The point is, if you’re one of Drayton’s guys, breaking up is very, very, very hard to do.

    Many years ago, when Craig Biggio was a free agent and was fielding significant offers from other clubs, when he re-signed with the Astros, Biggio said, “When Drayton wants something, he gets it.” Drayton wanted Biggio to remain an Astro.

    During a conversation about Lance’s Berkman’s remarks that he’s open to a trade, McLane said, “I see no way right now that we would even consider it.”

    He did say “right now.” Maybe if things get even uglier at Minute Maid during the season Drayton will become more flexible with his philosophy on star players. Maybe. I’m sticking with highly unlikely.[/rquoter]

    http://foxsportshouston.com/05/07/1...for-M/landing.html?blockID=230506&feedID=3716
     
  16. leroy

    leroy Member

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    ^

    This is where I vehemently disagree with Drayton. Re-building does not scream "don't come to the park today." The Houston fan base has been screaming for 4 years to start re-building...start restocking the farm...show us that there's a future. I would be much more willing to pay money to see a young team that maybe 2-3 years away from real success than I am to see this bunch of washed up rejects. I still have love for Oswalt & Berkman as they are Astros in the Biggio/Bagwell mold. The rest (other than Michael Bourn) could be cut for all I care. Pence is regressing in a way only Morgan Ensberg could be proud. Carlos Lee apparently just wants to go home. Kaz Matsui is finished. Pedro Feliz, Keppinger, and Blum are nice pieces for a club that doesn't need to rely on them. Our catching situation is worse than we could have imagined. I saw Jason Castro in person last night. He looks overmatched by AAA pitching and is still hitting in the .220 area with a whopping 2 extra base hits (both doubles). Granted, patience is necessary when it comes to Castro.

    Unfortunately, there is a huge problem for the Astros in regards to re-building. There's no one to re-build with. I was at the Express game last night. Outside of Bogusevic and Chris Shelton, there is no one there that even remotely deserves a shot this season. Blowing up the team means calling up players that are no where near ready for the majors. Then you end up like Pittsburgh, struggling for years and years and years.

    They've put themselves in a position where the team needs a total re-build, but it can't be done because there's nothing to re-build with.
     
  17. rockets934life

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    ^^^ This is why Drayton has gotten the club into the mess it is currently in. He spends money, no doubt, but ideas like the above statements make me shake my head. I can't believe Drayton doesn't see what EVERYONE else sees, most people would be thrilled with rebuilding because most have already gave up on the season just look at the stands as evidence.
     
  18. leroy

    leroy Member

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    Problem is, he's still seeing 20,000+ tickets sold. Then he sees what's going on in Baltimore and says, "It ain't that bad here." Yes, attendance is very much down, but it's not yet at the point where he's panicking. He's just not seeing that it's an illusion.
     
  19. J.R.

    J.R. Member

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    I couldn't agree more. Hello Drayton, wake up! Your own franchise player sees this team is going nowhere and is even willing to help! Berkman described it perfectly in that article with Solomon; something along the lines of well you aren't really going anywhere and you dont have minor league talent so you just plug old veterans in year in, year out.
     
  20. rockets934life

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    So so true and I just hope, while he is still seeing +20k in tix sold, he starts seeing a dip in sheriff blaylocks nachos and $10 beers. I saw the highlights last night and I was shocked to see soooooooooooo many empty seats and less people means less food/merchandise sales.
     

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