Astros Rumors: Pitching Targets, Valverde, Tejada

Houston Astros Senior Director of Digital Media Alyson Footer invited her Twitter followers to participate in a Q&A with Astros GM Ed Wade. The exchange resulted in too many tweets to individually link them all, but check out her Twitter account for some quotes from the conversation. Here are a few points of interest:

  • If the team cannot retain Jose Valverde and/or LaTroy Hawkins, Wade notes that there are other back-of-the-bullpen options out there. He says the club would prefer to have Valverde return as their closer, but mentions Fernando Rodney, Kevin Gregg, Rafael Soriano, and Mike Gonzalez as potential alternatives.
  • The Astros will "proceed with caution" when it comes to pursuing pitchers like Ben Sheets, who have questionable injury histories. Wade pointed to Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz as cautionary tales.
  • Wade doesn't expect to have a whole lot of money to commit to any starting pitching additions, given the other holes the team needs to fill.
  • The GM singles out Randy Wolf as one starter who is "probably not realistic" due to his expected price tag.
  • As much as the team would like to bring back Miguel Tejada, the market for the veteran will dictate whether they'll be able to afford it.
  • The team might acquire a stopgap behind the plate, but would prefer if one of their in-house options could step up and earn the starting job.

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