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[Official] Astros Off Season

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Castor27, Nov 7, 2022.

  1. Yordan The Great

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    We are going to pay $20 million for a catcher who has to learn on the job? That's ridiculous. Do you understand what you just said? We are going to make this dude the highest paid catcher in baseball and in about a year from now he'll be good enough to be our everyday catcher?

    Time to start making more sense about this signing.

    $13 million is the absolute ceiling. Let someone else pay him that crazy $20 million figure.
     
  2. Jeremy Williams

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    xwOBA .364–94 percentile—Elite
    98 percentile max exit velocity—elite
    90 percentile hard hit tool—elite
    WRC+ 132–elite
    OPS+ 128–elite
     
  3. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Contreras has been an MLB starting catcher for years. They only want to work on limiting his load so he doesn’t break down and work with him on game preparation- which the Astros are the best in baseball at.

    Consider that Contreras has an OPS+ almost 60 points higher than Maldonado. So when Contreras catches, the Astros will likely have someone with an OPS+ of roughly 110 in left field most likely (assuming they don’t get Brantley).

    That is a combined OPS+ of roughly 230-240…. Maldy has an OPS+ of 69… the Astros could sign the best bat on the market outside of Judge and still not make up the black hole Maldy is as a hitter…
     
  4. CisBuds4U

    CisBuds4U Member

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    Do the Astros still project Lee to be their starting catcher in a year or so? Or have they lowered their expectations of him to be a back-up/reserve player? Any thoughts on moving him to another position?
     
  5. sealclubber1016

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    So Contreras is gonna catch when it matters?

    If that's the case the signing makes a lot more sense. The difference between a dh who occasionally catches and a catcher who plays elsewhere to stay fresh is night and day.

    If Maldy is still expected to start in October it makes no sense to compare the 2.
     
    Wulaw Horn, Nook and cbass like this.
  6. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

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    That's great and all, but over recent seasons his actual production is not elite, not even close.
     
  7. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I don’t know if they view him as the catcher down the road. They were not impressed when they called him up but then he did well back at AAA. I know they really love Yanier Diaz’ bat.

    The Astros will not go with a rookie catcher. Too stressful for catcher and pitchers. Catcher also has a lot more duties with Astros than other teams.

    Lee isn’t a good enough hitter to play another position. I expect him to be the Astros third catcher or in AAA where he will need to have a strong year to get PT in 2o24
     
    itzIce and CisBuds4U like this.
  8. Nook

    Nook Member

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    If Verlander is here, he will have Maldy catch him in October and McCullers probably too… but Javier and Garcia would have Contreras catch for them.

    The hope is by playoff baseball Contreras would be accustomed to how the Astros do things and can start with certain pitchers and he can also DH when not catching in playoffs.

    Contreras only played like 110 or so games last year and has said he would like to play 150 games a year but breaks down. So the Astros would keep him fresh.
     
  9. Big Uns

    Big Uns Member

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    Waaay too much Maldy is the God of catching foolish takes. Christian was a catcher who caught for a world series winning team. Do you guys honestly think he wouldn't succeed as our primary catcher all while hitting damn near 100 points higher than Maldy?

    Same for Wilson...caught for a World Series winning team. Did his team suffer for having him catch?

    Do you think Maldy is going to be better next year, another year older? He hit 180 for Jeebus sake.

    As for the Verlander/McCullers personal options. I don't know why in October Maldy would get the personal chaperone treatment. Verlander looked like butt against the M's and the Phils and Maldy couldn't save Lance for bombing worse then anyone ever in the world series.
     
    #2729 Big Uns, Nov 30, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  10. Nook

    Nook Member

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    A lot of the numbers show that he is somewhere between really good and very good.

    Last year his strikeout rate was down to 21%, his OPS+ was around 130, he had terrible luck with only a babip of 270 (usually over 300) and his power was strong in only about 2/3 of a season. He gets doubles and homers. He walks a decent amount as well.
     
  11. CisBuds4U

    CisBuds4U Member

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    Ok but playing devil’s advocate here - did the Astros suffer by having Maldy as their starting catcher ? They still won the WS with his bum average. I agree it would be nice if he could hit above the Mendoza line but he obviously works well with our pitchers and sometimes you just have to go with what works. With that said, I’d be happy if they brought Vazquez back and let him split time with Maldy
     
    itzIce, jiggyfly, awc713 and 4 others like this.
  12. HTown2017Champs

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    I agree with keeping Maldy. As far as Vazquez, try to see if you can sign, say, Barnhart (former GG winner) for 1 year $4 or 5 to buy time for Lee or someone to develop.
     
  13. Mr.Pringles

    Mr.Pringles Member

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    How about just give Lee the Astros #1 prospect time too develop into the star he can become and also learn under Maldonado’s wing for atleast a season. This is how the Astros have had continued success. I don’t trust Contreras at all with the pitching staff. He’s an average DH and he takes away the ability too have three left handed bats in the lineup. Furthermore, giving him the 4yr/80 mil he’s projected at recieving is not being able to bring back Altuve or Bregman after 2024.

    Need a cheap vet catcher at the deadline get one. Astros have traded for Maldonado twice at the deadline and Vasquez since 2018.

    Wouldn’t rule out Maldonado back. Coaching staff knows his importance. Starter or backing up Lee, he won’t cost much too retain.
     
    eliefor3 likes this.
  14. cmlmel77

    cmlmel77 Up all Night Watching Houston Sports

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    He is not a free agent, so I also would not rule out him coming back.
     
    Stoic Rob and NIKEstrad like this.
  15. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Carrying Contreras and Yanier Diaz behind Maldy would be interesting. Depends how much Maldy would embrace a mentorship role. That would give a ton of PH/ positional flexibility with Contreras able to flex out to LF, Diaz at first and both at DH.

    Part of it probably depends how many games in left vs DH they want for Yordan.
     
    prospecthugger and Nook like this.
  16. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
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    Great stuff, Nook. It sounds like some interesting self awareness and self scouting from Contreras if he’s open to it. I like that the pitching hive mind is vetting him.

    I like it also as a bridge — if I think the Abreu (and Montero) signings and our roster as a whole, we’ve got a clear 3 year window in front of us. Late 30s catchers - which Maldy is at this point - don’t have much runway left in them, and we’ve got to plan to fill that void to keep our window open. Left fielders are easy to plug and play - catchers are not.

    If this gives us runway to shape a catcher in the Astros mold while also being a premium bat, that’s a great move. I don’t have confidence in Korey Lee on the whole and Diaz as a catcher seems like a work in process. Betting on either of them as the 24-25 primary catcher seems dicey.

    I could easily see a plan for Contreras to catch 50 games this year then ~100+ or so in the next couple after that. I’d make an offer to Vazquez with that model in mind as well, but it’s harder to justify having his bat in the lineup at one of the bigger offense positions (LF, DH, 1B) when he’s not catching.

    Just editing to add - the 2024 catching free agent class is shaping up as:
    Maldy (age 38)
    Yasmani Grandal (age 35)
    Mitch Garver (age 33)

    DArnaud and Yan Gomes have club options that will almost certainly be picked up if they don’t fall flat.

    I suppose you could hope to find the next Maldy type catcher for cheap (like the Yankees picked up Trevino), but a Contreras bridge year is probably your best bet at having a plus offensive option that fits Astros pitching prep in 2024-25. I’m coming around to that versus trying to make a bet on Austin Hedges or Tucker Barnhart and hoping they don’t end up completely unplayable.
     
    #2736 NIKEstrad, Nov 30, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
  17. Landry's Tooth

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    I'd rather have Nimmo over Contreras for same money.

    We have Lee and Diaz coming up behind Maldy. We have McCormick, Meyers, and a 2 year wait for someone in centerfield.

    Most year Nimmo is a .400 ob guy. Sticking him and Altuve in front of Yordan would be huge. It also would allow Pena to be in more of a run producing spot.

    Ideal scenario:

    Altuve R
    Nimmo L
    Bregman R
    Alvarez L
    Abreu R
    Tucker L
    Pena R
    Brantley L
    Maldonado R
     
  18. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Contreras at $70M/4yrs or less would be a very good deal even with the draft pick cost and even if he won’t catch that many games. $100M/5yrs or more would be a bad deal. 55 games at catcher, 55 at DH, and 10 each at 1B/LF sounds like a great fit. At $70M/4yrs or less they would still probably have enough money left to make 1-2 more meaningful (3rd tier) moves like signing someone like Brantley or Profar or a good lefty reliever.
     
    Stoic Rob, Nook and Jeremy Williams like this.
  19. CinematicFusion

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    What’s the market for Vasquez? Thought he was solid splitting time with Maldy.
     
  20. CinematicFusion

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