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So is it not getting Dunn or is Justice covering both Sides?

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by redgoose, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. redgoose

    redgoose Contributing Member

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    Right trade might not be available
    By RICHARD JUSTICE
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle



    The sportswriter in me screams that Tim Purpura must trade for a middle-of-the-order hitter and a starting pitcher.

    And if he doesn't? Well, let's just say we know where you live, Tim.

    Sixteen days until baseball's trading deadline. You're on the clock, fella.

    There.

    I had to get that out of my system. I had to tell Purpura he's beginning his first important test as general manager of the Astros. I'm not necessarily sure it's true, but I had to say it. I love sounding tough.

    Gerry Hunsicker called roster building "more an art than a science."


    Astros could use some help
    General managers are judged by the teams they construct in spring training and by how they tweak those teams in the second half.

    Now is the time for tweaking the Astros. They've won 29 of their past 42 games to play their way back into contention for the National League wild-card berth.

    But they probably can't finish the deal unless they improve an offense that's 29th in runs.

    So no excuses, Tim, just do it.

    There's just one problem. There might not be a deal out there to be made, at least a deal that makes sense for the Astros.

    Last year was relatively simple. Carlos Beltran was the marquee player on the trading block. The Royals had a game plan. They wanted a catcher and a third baseman.

    The Astros had an advantage other teams didn't have. In spring training, owner Drayton McLane told his Kansas City counterpart, David Glass, an old friend, "If you trade Beltran, give us a shot."

    This summer is different. Every available player has negatives. And many of the teams shopping those players have them ridiculously overvalued.

    So the next time your local columnist or talk-show chucklehead screams about making a deal, tell him to take a deep breath.


    Resist temptation
    The best thing Purpura has done since taking over for Hunsicker is nothing stupid. When Beltran signed with the Mets, he surely was tempted to make a panic move for Randy Winn or someone similar. He's about to face some of the same temptations.

    "To me," he said, "the biggest thing is not making a bad deal. I don't want to give up our key guys. We want to win this year, but we want to keep the major parts that would allow us continuing success."

    Perfect.

    It's also why he's not going to land Adam Dunn.

    Dunn is fourth in the National League with 23 home runs. He's first with 94 strikeouts. His $4.6 million salary could double by next season.

    He makes the Astros better, but inside the front office, there's disagreement on how much better.

    Not that it would matter. Bad teams tend to overvalue their best players. The Reds apparently want as many as two major-league players and a prospect.

    Purpura should tell the Reds thanks but no thanks unless the price drops dramatically. Almost every available player has a negative.

    Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff? Similarly overpriced. The Devil Rays asked one team for three players. Maybe the guy is about to morph into Albert Pujols.

    Only then would that deal make sense.

    Colorado's Todd Helton? He has about $38 million remaining on his contract. That's way too much.

    Kansas City's Mike Sweeney? He'll make $11 million next season and can play only first base.

    There could be better options as the trading deadline approaches. Purpura's toughest job will be weighing the benefits for this season against the long-term cost in terms of players surrendered.

    Pirates outfielder Matt Lawton is a more likely possibility if he's made available. He's a solid defensive player and is making $7.75 million. He's hitting .276 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.

    Mariners first baseman Raul Ibañez might also be traded. He's hitting .294 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs. His salary is $4.4 million.

    There's also Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar. A source said the Red Sox and Astros spoke about him several days ago. When the Red Sox asked about Chad Qualls, the discussions ended.

    Giants righthander Jason Schmidt might be the best of the available starting pitchers. More will go on the market as the deadline approaches.

    Anyone for a Jose Lima return engagement?

    That's about it. Ibañez and Lawton would make the Astros better, but with the added salary and the cost in players surrendered, Purpura might be better off passing and allowing Chris Burke and Jason Lane to continue playing.

    "We've been at this for four or five weeks," Purpura said. "I'm not a big guy for remembering numbers, but I've got the phone numbers of some general managers memorized. That tells you something. There are a lot of hitters out there, but the prices are high."

    Standing pat won't be popular in the clubhouse or the stands. At the moment, it's probably the best alternative.


    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/3267203
     
    #1 redgoose, Jul 15, 2005
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2005
  2. redgoose

    redgoose Contributing Member

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    So is Justice just doing his usual taking both sides of the issue so he can say he was right at the end of the year?

    We still need a bat and i'm not holding my breath on Bagwell even for next year. Sure, we give up prospects but we could get a 40 homerun guy. Sure Dunn strikes out, but put him between Ensberg and Berkman and he'll get some pitches.

    Seems to me we've got a shot now and we wouldn't be renting a player like before. Justice makes it out like he's suprised the Reds are going to try to get as much as they can for him. Why wouldn't they? What team wouldn't for an All Star. His strikeouts will go down with batting practices.

    Bottom line is yes we'll give up alot, but nobody being given up is as proven as Dunn, who won't be a rental, while Biggio and Bags aren't getting younger. Add the facts Clemens was saying about being on the same page with the owner and gm about getting another bat. If not, let Clemens go back to the Yanks cause he will be pissed no matter what he's said about not being traded.

    I understand the hesitation, but the Stros need to make a move. We have the pitching to win it all, we just need a little more hitting. If this is a Stros decision not to go after anyone at all, i wonder who's call it really is. :confused:

    I could ramble more and probably will later, but this article really caught me by suprise. Maybe Drayton just wants to see how the road trip goes to see if we slip back under. :mad:
     
  3. Castor27

    Castor27 Moderator
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    Problem is, if the Astros don't make a move, Justice will fire off an article bashing them for doing nothing. He just loves to have his cake and eat it too.
     
  4. VesceySux

    VesceySux Contributing Member

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    Helton, the freaking cornerstone of the Rockies, hit .347 last year with 32 HRs, 96 RBIs, 127 BBs, and 72 SOs. Prior to this year, he hasn't hit under .300 since 1997. He's hit 30 or more home runs 6 straight years. His OPS has been over 1.000 for 5 straight years. On top of that, he's a hard out (low SO rate). Yeah, his contract isn't great, and he is 32, but good lord, the guy is a star. I'd love to have to him.
     
  5. redgoose

    redgoose Contributing Member

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    Your reply just made me think of something. Doesn't insurance pay Bagwell's salary while he's out? So wouldn't we be able to afford Helton this year or just about anyone else for that matter? Especially Dunn, who makes under 5 million. We would still have money to spare.

    Anyways, if we take 2 of 3 from the Cards, the pressure will have to be on Drayton to do something. Because then then we get the Pirates before 4 games vs the 1st place Nationals, who have their own offensive struggles. But if we have an extra bat by then, it sure would help.
     
  6. wrath_of_khan

    wrath_of_khan Contributing Member

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    Teams’ asking prices are always ridiculously high (3 Big league players/2 top prospects, etc.) a few weeks before the deadline.

    They get much more reasonable on July 30.
     
  7. kevwun

    kevwun Member

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    Todd Helton is a good player who put up superstar numbers because of Coors field. Check out his career splits. He would never have been in contention for Batting crowns if he played somewhere else.
     
  8. Buck Turgidson

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    The 610 idiots were great a few minutes ago. They read Raul Ibanez's name in their buddy's column and here's what followed:

    "They really need to get this guy, he's exactly what they're looking for."

    "Can he play LF?"

    "I don't know, that's something the Astros will have to look into." (isn't it, like, your job to do the 30 seconds of research it would take to know what you're talking about before you bring it up on the air? Wait, don't answer that.)

    [Lance] "I don't know if a guy hitting .290 with 12 homers will help the Astros."

    So predictably sad.
     
  9. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    But they probably can't finish the deal unless they improve an offense that's 29th in runs.

    This needs to change...I didnt realize we were still that low to be honest. Obviously its a tribute to our pitching, however, a nice solid bat in between Ensberg and Lane (or in place of Lane) would be a welcome addition.
     
  10. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    pretty much sums up Houston sports talk radio
     
  11. kevwun

    kevwun Member

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    There's a Rob Neyer article about the Astros on Espn's website. Anyone care to summarize or better yet, post it?
     
  12. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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  13. kevwun

    kevwun Member

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    I forgot to mention it's an insider article below Kurkjian's article.
     
  14. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    Found this tidbit on Soriano updated today...

    Adios, Texas?

    Jul 14 - According to the Dallas Morning News, second baseman Alfonso Soriano is the Rangers' prime trade commodity. They would like to get the Yankees involved, because it will jack up demand. The Padres and Red Sox could also be interested. But perhaps the best deal would be with the Indians for outfielder Brad Snyder and power arm right-hander Andrew Brown.


    I dont know much about Snyder and Brown....are they that much better than a Backe-Burke or Lane combo?
     
  15. Major

    Major Member

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    Last two years, away from home, he bats 0.325 with an OPS around 0.950.

    If you can get Helton, you get him.
     
  16. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    Amen to that
     
  17. desihooper

    desihooper Contributing Member
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    I started saying get Helton a while ago. If you look at his career numbers at MMP, he'll put up great numbers as an Astro too since he'll play half his games in a park he does hit well in. If he's going to be someone who has bad home/road splits, might as well bring him somewhere he can produce at his "usual" home standard :D

    Plus, you know any deal for Helton will involve them eating a bunch of hte contract a la the Mike Hampton deal when they sent him to Florida (?).
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    I disagree - whoever gets Helton will pay for that contract, IMO. Hampton was different because he was terrible and they basically had to pay someone to take him off their hands. Helton is nothing of the sort - he's might be one of the top 10 hitters in all of baseball (Coors Field or not) and someone will pay a high price for him.

    The problem with trading him is that many teams can't afford him, and he only plays first base, and most good teams already have a 1B. Our situation is unique - we have a 1B that can play OF in Berkman, and we have all the money we saved from Beltran/Kent and by not going after mediocre talent like Finley. Plus, he fits the mold for us - the clear far and away best player on the trade market (Randy Johnson, Beltran).

    The problem I see is Bagwell's future. If he's expected to be back this year or next, then how do we manage both of those guys? Helton, I believe, is under contract for 2 more years, so he'd be a phenomenal pickup if we could pull it off. I have no idea what it would take though.
     
  19. kevwun

    kevwun Member

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    I said he's a good player. He's just not as good as his numbers. A good hitter's splits in an average ballpark will be almost the same. Right now, Helton's home average is 73 points higher than his road and he's slugging 158 points better at Coors. In 2002 there was a 97 point difference in his ba and 169 points for his slugging. Coors field lets a good hitter like Helton look like he's Albert Pujols when he's really not. When Pujols hit's .340 he does it everywhere. When Helton hits .340, he's hitting .370 at home and .290 on the road.
     
  20. thacabbage

    thacabbage Contributing Member

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    Standing pat won't be popular in the clubhouse or the stands. At the moment, it's probably the best alternative.


    Whatever. Cross Patton and Pence off the list, and Purpura's an idiot if he doesn't add a bat. The likelihood of having a top 3 + closer combination like this, one absolutely tailor made to maul through the postseason, ever again in this organization lies somewhere between 0 and 1%. Translation - it won't ever happen again. Don't blow this just to hang onto some mediocre prospect, Purpura, or you'll come off as even more of an idiot than you already do to most.
     

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