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Projecting Astros '15 Roster - Advocating FA/Trade

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by travfrancis, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. travfrancis

    travfrancis Member

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    Houston is a big market, even with the TV deal disaster, there should be plenty of slack in the payroll for the next 4+ years before our talented crop of players start getting big bucks through arbitration/free agency/early extension. This is the case even considering the possible dead weight of Feldman's contract, the possible extension of Fowler, and the likelihood that we sign several of our guys to extensions early to lock them up long-term (ie. Singleton and Altuve). I think there is a great opportunity to supplement our roster with a significant targeted free agent signing/trade or two (these deals will expire before our payroll gets intolerably expensive - I'm not necessarily advocating picking up the very top FA on a 10 year contract). IMO targeted significant FA signings or trade (above and beyond the talent of Fowler and Feldman) would be capitalizing on the big advantage we have over your typical extended bottom dwellers (small market teams).

    Obviously there is merit to holding off of free agency and trades to get a better look at more of our prospects, as there is the risk the veteran players signed/traded for do not pan out and block cheaper/younger/better talent (like we might be seeing with Feldman and Foltynewicz).

    My projected 2015 roster - a live Wild Card team (after Super Two deadline, projected numbers are based on a full season of play):

    LINEUP:
    CF: Fowler (S) .370 obp, 90 runs, .770 ops
    2B: Altuve (R) .290 avg, 35 sb, 85 runs, .740 ops
    RF: Springer (R) 33 hr, 90 runs, 95 rbi, 18 sb, Gold Glove, .890 ops
    1B: Singleton (L) 25 hr, 85 rbi, 85 runs, .850 ops
    DH: Cruz (R)* 27 hr, 80 rbi, .825 ops
    SS: Correa (R)* .330 obp, 35 2b, 10 hr, 15 sb, .740 ops
    LF: Santana (R) 18 hr, .760 ops
    C: Castro (L) 15 hr, .730 ops
    3B: Dominguez (R) 20 hr, .700 ops

    BENCH:
    C: Stassi (R) 8 HR, .720 ops
    OF: Grossman (S) .345 OBP, .715 ops
    Middle IF: Fontana (L) .375 OBP. .700 ops
    Corner IF: Duffy (R) 6 HR, .700 ops

    ROTATION:
    1. Keuchel (L) 2.90 era, 1.10 whip
    2. McHugh 3.35 era, 1.15 whip
    3. Cosart 3.90 era, 1.35 whip
    4. Foltynewicz 4.30 era, 1.30 whip
    5. Oberholtzer (L) 4.50 era, 1.35 whip

    BULLPEN:
    LR: Feldman 4.70 era, 1.30 whip
    MR: Albers 2.75 era, 1.15 whip
    MR: Downs (L) 3.40 era, 1.15 whip
    MR: Sipp (L) 3.40 era, 1.15 whip
    7th: Crain 2.50 era, 1.10 whip
    8th: Qualls 3.00 era, 1.20 whip
    CL: Romo* 40 SV, 2.30 era, .90 whip

    *KEY ASSUMPTIONS:
    I made the following big roster transactions:
    - I signed a top flight closer
    - I signed one of the top available bats

    I made these choices based on the projected 2015 UFAs. The names are somewhat arbitrary as I don't know who exactly will free up - you can easily replace Romo and Cruz with other impact pitcher and bat options available either via FA or at this year's trade deadline. I actually think a trade would make even more sense (since we would get a better deal salary wise and have plenty of trade bait - notice I included only one of Tucker/Santana on my roster). Further note that 3B would be a potentially great spot to upgrade instead of LF/DH, meaning we keep Carter/internal options (in this case plug Carter and his 30 HRs, .760 OPS in at #9 for Domingo). Alternatively, we could pursue an ace in free agency like Scherzer or Shields but this seems less likely.

    Continuing with the assumptions used...
    - Correa and Fontana make their way to AA and AAA respectively this summer and perform
    - One of Tucker or Santana is up and performing well enough to post the numbers I projected above. The other either is still struggling in AAA or maybe was traded as part of a package for the veteran bat/closer I'm advocating.
    - Springleton build on their numbers from the current year and Springer turns in a bonafide All-Star/borderline MVP campaign next year. Obviously this is a highly optimistic projection but not absurd given growth and their current figures. I also have Springer starting to display the run game he showed consistently in the minors, as he gets comfortable.
    - I have Keuchel and McHugh with only a slight drop off in their performance from 2014 thus far and filling in that #1 and #2 nicely. It's optimistic, but if one of them falters there is the potential that someone like Foltynewicz/Cosart/Appel or one of the AAA prospects rises up and bumps one or both of them down.


    NOTE: I'd be fine sticking with Carter at DH/Dominguez at 3B and Qualls as Closer, and I'm a huge advocate of developing from within and not making the same mistakes that led to three seasons in a row with the worst record in baseball and a depleted farm system. I think though that we can have our cake and eat it too in this situation.

    So what do you guys think about making a big splash in FA/Trade? Who is likely to be available that might make sense to go after? How far would the team posted above go?
     
    2 people like this.
  2. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    Feldman a $10mm/year long reliever?

    Oberholtzer re-seizes a spot in the rotation?

    Both bold predictions.
     
  3. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Those are two of the less bold predictions. :)
     
  4. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    haha...you make a good point.
     
  5. jev5555

    jev5555 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Starters: Keuchel, Feldman, Cosart, McHugh, Folty
    Mid Relief: Albers, Zeid, Chapman, Tropeano, Downs
    Setup/Closer: Qualls, Crain

    Catcher: Jason Castro
    1st Base: Jon Singleton
    2nd Base: Jose Altuve
    Shortstop: Jon Villar
    3rd Base: Pablo Sandoval
    Left Field: Domingo Santana
    Center Field: Dexter Fowler
    Right Field: George Springer
    Designated Hitter: Matt Dominguez

    Lineup:
    1)Fowler 2)Altuve 3)Springer 4)Sandoval 5)Singleton 6)Santana 7)Castro 8)Dominguez 9)Villar

    Think Astros brass grow tired of substandard batting averages and shell out money for a high average kinda guy at a position of need. Pablo Sandoval, will provide a stabilizing force in the heart of the lineup. Think Carlos Lee playing 3rd base. .300avg with 20-24HR and 90+ RBI.

    But then again, I'm usually wrong about these things.
     
  6. Scolalist

    Scolalist Member

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    C Castro
    1B Singleton
    2B Altuve
    3B Dominguez
    SS Correa
    LF Santana
    CF Fowler
    RF Springer
    DH Melky Cabrera

    Bench
    Corporan
    Villar
    Gonzalez
    Carter
    Grossman

    Rotation
    Keuchel
    Josh Beckett
    Feldman
    Folty
    Cosart

    Pen
    Qualls
    Crain
    Albers
    Sipp
     
  7. Txst

    Txst Member

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    Depending on the development of Santana and Tucker the rest of this year, there is a pretty good chance we will sign a LF that can also play a little 1B to a 1-2 year deal (someone like Morse). The only way you can go for a longer deal is if you've already decided you aren't resigning Fowler after next season.

    There is zero chance Albers will be back as we have cheaper options. I do think there is a good chance we sign a closer though unless the team decides to convert Folty.

    Next year is going to be a lot of fun. My way to early prediction:

    CF Fowler
    2B Altuve
    RF Springer
    1B Singleton
    DH Morse
    LF Santana
    3B Dominguez
    C Castro
    SS Villar

    SP Keuchel
    SP Feldman
    SP Cosart
    SP McHugh
    SP Foltynewicz

    CL Street
    SU Qualls
    SU Fields
    MR Tropeano
    MR White
    LH Sipp
    LH Oberholtzer

    Trade: Also, instead of signing a LF free agent, they could trade their B prospects (Peacock, Carter, Buchanan) that are blocked for an arbitration guy like they did for Fowler.
     
  8. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

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    I'm with you here. However I think they will go with possibly Preston Tucker over Matt Dominguez as the DH.
     
  9. body slam

    body slam Member

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    any chance we see DeShields in 2015
     
  10. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    10x more likely than seeing Correa.

    DeShields is currently struggling in AA, so he needs to figure out AA first, before we start penciling him in on the Astros 2015 starting day roster.
     
  11. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    I have him ranked trade candidate #1 without a close 2nd among anything of value in our farm.
     
  12. K-Low_4_Prez

    K-Low_4_Prez Member

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    I seriously doubt we are going to all of a sudden start making high profile moves, that was never the Cardinals strategy.

    Any FAs we sign will likely be stop gaps.
     
  13. air_matt

    air_matt Member

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    I really don't see Dominguez doing anything for the team. Often hear he is an above average defensive 3rd baseman, but I don't see it. And I don't ever seem him hitting for anything better than .240
     
  14. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Odd, considering he has hit better than .240 in all 4 of his big league seasons.
     
  15. boozle222

    boozle222 Contributing Member

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    Made me chuckle. Also, his glove is tremendous. We have bigger issues to fry than a third baseman.
     
  16. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Do you think he is the long term answer at 3rd base?

    He is a career 249 hitter with an OB% of around 300.
     
  17. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

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    Just for the record, nobody takes batting average seriously anymore, it's all about dat OPS. He has good power and is very good defensively.

    He is an average to slightly above average player, which is nothing special, but we could also do a lot worse.
     
  18. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Long term? Depends on the rest of the team and what sort of production is needed from him. He is still 24.

    Offensively, this season, the Astros are getting essentially the same offensive production from Dominguez that the Rays are getting from Longoria. That being said, I'd trade Dominguez for Longoria in a heartbeat.
     
  19. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Basically how I feel.

    I don't especially feel Dominguez is anything special, but I am aware that players improve at different rates... for example, all Dominguez has to do is increase his walk rate and he is a starting third baseman in baseball for the next decade. He has a bit of a Joe Crede feel to his game.

    I do expect Ruiz, Correa or someone else to eventually push him out.
     
  20. kaleidosky

    kaleidosky Your Tweety Bird dance just cost us a run

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    Not sure how to take this seriously when you advocate Dominguez and DH and Sandoval at 3B. You could have easily swapped them.

    Also, i'm confused by the majority of people projecting Folty in the rotation. By all reports, his secondary stuff hasn't progressed, and it seems like he's projecting more and more like Wagner/Lidge...SP to great RP (obviously those comps are best best case) in the majors. Given the talent in the minors, I think I'd rather see him as a stud RP than a #4/#5 SP
     

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