Though the Astros are already $2MM over their 2011 payroll target, owner Drayton McLane and GM Ed Wade met yesterday "to set financial parameters for going outside the organization" for a catcher in the wake of Jason Castro's season-ending injury, reports Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle.
Comments from McLane and Wade suggest any acquisition will be minor, and Wade isn't ruling out opening the season with Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles. A few days ago, MLBTR's Mark Polishuk looked at potentially available backstops the Astros could consider.
Ryan Doumit is an obvious fit for the Astros, though in a general sense Wade said, "Even if there was a guy out there making substantial dollars available, I'm not sure we would be in the mix to be able to go do something like that." Keep in mind that the Pirates would likely assume at least half of the $5.6MM owed to Doumit. Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has the latest from GM Neal Huntington on the near-dormant Doumit talks.