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[Official] Astros Spring Training

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Castor27, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
    Likes Received:

    MLB’s team owners on Friday ratified an agreement struck Thursday night by MLB and the players’ association that covers the service-time implications of a shortened or canceled 2020 season as well as how to proceed with the amateur draft and upcoming international signing period in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

    As part of the deal, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich, players will accrue major league service time in 2020 on a pro-rated basis for a shortened season or in an amount equal to their 2019 level in the event of a canceled season. Service time dictates the pay structure in MLB. A player requires 172 days on the active roster or injured list for a full year of service and six full years of service before he can become a free agent. Players with three, four and five years of service obtain annual raises through the salary arbitration process.

    In terms of the previously determined 2020 salaries, players will receive pro-rated pay in a shortened season and were granted by MLB an advance payment of $170 million to be split up and spread out over the next two months. Additionally, the annual MLB amateur draft will be delayed from early June to at some point in July (late July at the latest) and shortened from 40 rounds to as few as five rounds, MLB has the power to push the international signing period that was set to begin July 2 to as late as January and current rosters have been frozen in place.

    Let’s parse what the agreement means for the Astros, now and in the future:

    • George Springer will be a free agent in the 2020-21 offseason regardless of whether a 2020 season is played. So, too, will Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel, Josh Reddick and Brad Peacock. A canceled 2020 season would mean each of these five players has played his last game as an Astro, barring the signing of a new contract with the team.

    Springer, who will be one of the premier players in a free agent class highlighted by Mookie Betts, fell only six major league service days shy of being a free agent after the 2019 season. That wasn’t an accident, as the Astros front office manipulated his service time back in 2014 when he was a prospect to ensure the team the additional year of club control.

    Because of the service-time shenanigans and also because he was a college draftee, Springer will be 31 at the time of his first free agency, which is on the older side for an elite player. If he would’ve had to wait until he was 32, it would’ve likely cost him tens of millions of dollars in future earnings. But because Springer has five years, 166 days of service, it would have taken a refusal on MLB’s part to grant any service time in a canceled season for him to not have gotten those six days in 2020.
    Peacock is in the same boat in terms of service time, having accrued only one fewer day in the majors than Springer. They are the only two would-be first-time free agents in the 2020-21 offseason on Houston’s roster. Brantley, Gurriel and Reddick are each entering the final years covered under free-agent contracts.

    • These same rules apply for Houston’s similarly loaded 2021 free agent class. Even if the 2020 season is canceled, the Astros would be guaranteed only one more season of Justin Verlander, Carlos Correa, Zack Greinke and Lance McCullers Jr., who are each in line to be free agents after the 2021 season. A canceled 2020 would mean McCullers going two-plus calendar years between games; he missed 2019 while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

    • Excluding amateurs, young players who accrued 85 days or fewer of major league service time in 2019 or were positioned to debut in 2020 make up the bracket that stand to lose the most in this agreement if it turns out the 2020 season has to be canceled.

    Take Kyle Tucker, for example. He was poised to possibly get a full 172 days of service in 2020 to add to the 79 days he accrued between 2018 and 2019. But if the 2020 season is wiped out, he would get only 28 days of service for it, the same number he accrued in 2019.

    What does that mean? Basically, if we presume he is now a major leaguer and wasn’t going to spend any more time in the minors, a canceled 2020 season would push Tucker’s projected free agency from after the 2025 season to after the 2026 season.

    Other young Astros in a similar position include José Urquidy (49 days of service in 2019), who was set to be in the 2020 Opening Day rotation as a rookie, and the likes of Abaham Toro (39 days in 2019), Bryan Abreu (25 days in 2019), Cristian Javier and Forrest Whitley, players who either got minimal time in 2019 or were set to potentially debut in 2020.

    Reigning AL Rookie of the Year Award winner Yordan Alvarez accrued 113 days of major league service last season. So unless he experiences a shocking decline that warrants his demotion to the minors, he’s still in line to be a free agent after the 2025 season, as he would’ve been under normal circumstances.

    Myles Straw, who accrued 96 days of major league service in 2019 on top the 16 he got in 2018, would fall in the same category as Alvarez if he doesn’t spend any more time in the minors, which is not a certainty. If there’s a season, Straw is highly likely to make the Astros’ Opening Day roster. But he would also be in a bench role and has minor league options remaining.

    • Where does the shortened draft leave the Astros in terms of picks? If MLB does not extend it beyond the minimum five rounds, the Astros would have four picks: their compensation pick following the second round for losing Gerrit Cole (somewhere in the 70-75 overall range), their regular third-round pick (roughly 105-110 overall), their regular fourth-rounder and their regular fifth-rounder. Say MLB decides down the road that it wants this draft to consist of 10 rounds. In that scenario, the Astros would have nine total picks.

    Whenever the 2020 draft occurs, the Astros will still be operating with a depleted bonus pool because of the forfeiture of their regular first- and second-round picks as part of the team’s punishment for electronically stealing signs in 2017 and 2018. On paper, a shortened draft would seem to set the stage for an active free agency period for undrafted players. However, as part of the MLB/MLBPA deal, there will be only a $20,000 maximum for signing bonuses on these undrafted free agents.

    Before the recent shutdown, teams had been scouting this class of amateurs for quite a while. But regardless of whether the 2020 draft is five rounds or 10 rounds, that teams have a lot more information to draw from on the college prospects as opposed to the high school prospects will likely lead to a draft heavier on college players than usual.

    For context, here are some of the current Astros who were drafted after the fifth round: Michael Brantley (seventh round), Josh Reddick (17th), Myles Straw (12th), Ryan Pressly (11th), Josh James (34th), Brad Peacock (41st) and Chris Devenski (25th).

    (For more analysis on the agreement’s impact on the 2020 MLB Draft, you should read Keith Law’s latest story.)

    • A postponement of the start of the next international signing period from its usual July 2 date would delay the Astros getting touted Cuban outfielder Pedro Leon into their system. The parties reportedly agreed in February to a deal worth about $4 million, effective the beginning of the next signing period. Leon, who will turn 22 in May, will instantly become one of the Astros’ best three or four prospects when his signing eventually does become official.

    • The roster freeze component of the MLB/MLBPA deal explains why so many teams optioned players to Triple A on Thursday. In the Astros’ case, they optioned catcher Garrett Stubbs, infielder Jack Mayfield and lefty reliever Blake Taylor. Before the shutdown, these players either were unlikely (Stubbs and Taylor) or had no shot (Mayfield) to make the Opening Day roster. But now, being optioned on March 26 won’t preclude them from being included on a potential expanded Opening Day roster down the road. If a 2020 season is played and MLB increases active roster sizes like it did in 1995, the Astros would have to consider carrying Stubbs as a third catcher, for example.
    mikol13 and jim1961 like this.
  2. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
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  3. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
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  4. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

    Jan 26, 2010
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    Here is basically a list of all the players that might never play for their current team again

    2021 FREE AGENTS

    First Basemen
    C.J. Cron
    Edwin Encarnacion *
    Todd Frazier *
    Yuli Gurriel
    Howie Kendrick
    Brad Miller
    Mitch Moreland *
    Daniel Murphy *
    Anthony Rizzo *
    Carlos Santana *
    Justin Smoak *
    Neil Waker
    Ryan Zimmerman

    Second Basemen
    Asdrubal Cabrera
    Daniel Descalso *
    Freddy Galvis
    Dee Gordon *
    Adeiny Hechavarria
    Cesar Hernandez
    DJ LeMahieu
    Jed Lowrie
    Brad Miller
    Eduardo Nunez
    Chris Owings
    Jurickson Profar
    Jonathan Schoop
    Eric Sogard
    Jonathan Villar
    Kolten Wong *

    Ehire Adrianza
    Freddy Galvis
    Didi Gregorius
    Jose Iglesias *
    Marcus Semien
    Andrelton Simmons

    Third Basemen
    Asdrubal Cabrera
    Zack Cozart
    Todd Frazier *
    Jedd Gyorko *
    Jung Ho Kang
    Tommy La Stella
    Jake Lamb
    Justin Turner

    Alex Avila
    Welington Castillo
    Jason Castro
    Francisco Cervelli
    Robinson Chirinos
    Tyler Flowers
    Chris Iannetta
    Sandy Leon
    Jeff Mathis
    James McCann
    Yadier Molina
    Roberto Perez *
    Manny Pina
    Wilson Ramos *
    J.T. Realmuto
    Austin Romine
    Kurt Suzuki
    Stephen Vogt *
    Mike Zunino

    Mookie Betts
    Jackie Bradley Jr.
    Michael Brantley
    Ryan Braun *
    Jay Bruce
    Nicholas Castellanos *
    Yoenis Cespedes
    Shin-Soo Choo
    Nelson Cruz
    Jarrod Dyson
    Adam Eaton
    Leury Garcia
    Brett Gardner *
    Marwin Gonzalez
    Alex Gordon
    Robbie Grossman
    Enrique Hernandez
    Matt Joyce
    Jake Marisnick
    Nick Markakis
    Starling Marte *
    Cameron Maybin
    Marcel Ozuna
    Joc Pederson
    Hunter Pence
    Kevin Pillar
    Josh Reddick
    Domingo Santana *
    Steven Souza Jr.
    George Springer
    Giancarlo Stanton *
    Michael A. Taylor

    Starting Pitchers
    Brett Anderson
    Chase Anderson *
    Chris Archer *
    Jake Arrieta
    Homer Bailey
    Trevor Bauer
    Tyler Chatwood
    Jhoulys Chacin
    Anthony DeSclafani
    Mike Fiers
    Kevin Gausman
    Gio Gonzalez *
    Cole Hamels
    J.A. Happ *
    Rich Hill
    Felix Hernandez
    Rich Hill
    Merrill Kelly *
    Corey Kluber *
    Mike Leake *
    Jon Lester *
    Mike Minor
    Matt Moore
    Charlie Morton *
    Jimmy Nelson *
    Ivan Nova
    James Paxton
    Martin Perez *
    Rick Porcello
    Jose Quintana
    Robbie Ray
    Garrett Richards
    Tyson Ross
    Jeff Samardzija
    Anibal Sanchez *
    Drew Smyly
    Marcus Stroman
    Masahiro Tanaka
    Michael Wacha
    Taijuan Walker
    Alex Wood
    Jordan Zimmermann

    Relief Pitchers
    Jose Alvarez
    Pedro Baez
    Dellin Betances
    Brett Cecil
    Andrew Chafin
    Jesse Chavez
    Steve Cishek
    Tyler Clippard
    Alex Colome
    Wade Davis *
    Chris Devenski
    Sean Doolittle *
    Ken Giles
    Shane Greene
    Brad Hand
    Liam Hendriks
    Kelvin Herrera *
    Yoshihis Hirano
    David Hernandez
    Yoshihisa Hirano
    Jeremy Jeffress
    Keone Kela
    Brandon Kintzler *
    Trevor May
    Jake McGee
    Mark Melancon
    Andrew Miller *
    Brad Peacock
    Yusmeiro Petit
    Oliver Perez
    David Phelps *
    David Robertson
    Sergio Romo *
    Hector Rondon *
    Bryan Shaw *
    Joakim Soria
    Pedro Strop
    Blake Treinen
    Tony Watson
    Justin Wilson
    Brandon Workman
    Kirby Yates

    #644 jim1961, Mar 28, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  5. awc713

    awc713 Member
    Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2012
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    I really hope Correa stays long term. He's a strong student of the game; his leadership is not an accident. He's polarizing with his health and celebrity lifestyle, but you can tell he cares about the Astros. He will require super-star money, but keeping him and Altuve together forever just seems like a must. In the meantime, it's such a shame that 2020 is on hold. I do believe there will be some sort condensed season, so let's hold off on posting 2020-21 free agents!

    If we can resign Correa (and if he can remain healthy) and Springer, that's a huge win IMO. Having another half decade of them plus Bregman/Altuve (plus the rest of our squad) just seems incredible. You know Crane wants to win now, so maybe we have a shot at keeping our core long term. Let's give a lifetime contract to LMJ while we're at it, too.
  6. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Feb 28, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Choose between Springer and Correa Springer likely more signable but older... and the way he plays all-out in the field likely to not age well Correa has become more endeared with the way he’s responded to the sign stealing issues... and while very injury prone, they have been more of the fluke-ish variety that doesn’t necessarily stick with player their whole careers Lindor’s upcoming free agency likely sets the market.

    Hopefully they can retain at least one of them
  7. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Of having four open spots in the pool, Astros general manager James Click said that "based on our reading of the rules, it's easier to add players than take them off, so we wanted to give ourselves some flexibility."

    Players listed on the initial player pool can still opt out of the season. James Click said he hasn't spoken with any Astros player who plans to.

    Astros GM James Click said the players in the 60-man pool are there to help the club win, and not necessarily for developmental reasons. "The guys that are on this squad are there because we think this is the group that’s going to help us win a championship," he said.

    #647 J.R., Jun 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    The Beard likes this.
  8. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Mar 12, 2012
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    Great signs for Shaver, Meyers, and Papierski. No major surprises on the pitching side.
  9. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

    Dec 17, 2016
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    I would say it is more of a sign of lack of depth at those positions.
    raining threes and Astrofan59 like this.
  10. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Mar 12, 2012
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    It’s all relative. I’d say it’s a good sign for Shaver and Papierski that they were placed on the roster over Quintana, Manea, and all the veteran free agents. But sure, if you wanna be a downer, ok.
  11. The Beard

    The Beard Contributing Member

    Oct 31, 2012
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    The financial situation of the league has obviously changed tremendously since you posted this. Correa is also in the best SS class of all time assuming none reup with their current teams. You also have Carlos injury history and unfortunately for him, he really won’t have much of a chance to fix that perception before he becomes a FA

    At the beginning of the spring I would have given it about a 20% chance of him staying here long term, now I would put it closer to 50/50
  12. Screaming Fist

    Jul 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Pitching depth will be a lot of fun this year. I really don't understand what we are doing at C and it seems like we will be lucky to squeeze average production (0.8 WAR over this shortened season) out of the entire group.
    raining threes likes this.
  13. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
    Supporting Member

    May 3, 1999
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    The Astros are punting catcher, but still have the best team.
  14. punkoholic

    punkoholic Member

    Jul 21, 2016
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    I'm hoping JT Realmuto becomes a free agent and there's mutual interest. So for now, I'll settle for Maldonado and Garneau. Although he would cost alot. Would Crane be willing to offer big contracts to both Realmuto and Springer?
    #654 punkoholic, Jun 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  15. The Beard

    The Beard Contributing Member

    Oct 31, 2012
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    Would be tough to do that AND address long term pitching situation. I mean obviously if James, Urquidy, Abrey...Whitley....look like legit MLB pitchers this year that opens up possibilities like you mention....but more likely we will need to address at least one front of the rotation spot with a free agent/trade. It's hard to imagine us in 3 years truly contending without doing so
  16. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Likes Received:
    To me the most notable omissions from the 60 man roster were LHP Kent Emanuel (who is on the 40 man roster) and RHP Riley Ferrell (who was selected in the Rule 5 draft and returned).

    Others with AAA experience who were not selected:

    C Lorenzo Quintana
    IF Anibal Sierra
    OF Stephen Wrenn
    RHP Carson LaRue
    LHP Ryan Hartman
    RHP Gabriel Valdez
    LHP Kit Scheetz
    RHP Brendan McCurry
    RHP Colin McKee
    RHP Ronel Blanco
    RHP Dean Deetz
    RHP Humberto Castellanos
    RHP Jose Bravo
  17. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
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  18. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
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    #658 J.R., Jul 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
    desihooper and No Worries like this.
  19. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 1999
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    My body is ready.
    awc713 likes this.
  20. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

    Jun 30, 2008
    Likes Received:

    Astros RHP Lance McCullers Jr. said he will throw a live bullpen session tomorrow. He hopes to simulate three innings, as he did a few days ago facing Bregman.

    Lance McCullers Jr on the MLB season: "I wouldn't be here if I didn't feel it was something we could sustain."

    "I'm a frequent spitter," Lance McCullers Jr. said.
    #660 J.R., Jul 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
    No Worries likes this.

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