Astros Will Seek DH, Pitching In Free Agency

The Astros will find themselves in a new division and new league come 2013, and this will be the first full offseason for new general manager Jeff Luhnow. Needless to say, the organization is in a transitional period, but as's Brian McTaggart reports, Luhnow has a plan.

The Astros aren't going to be players for any of the game's top free agents, but Luhnow would like to add a designated hitter — potentially one who could see some time at the corner infield spots — and will also seek pitching help. Lucas Harrell, Jordan Lyles and Bud Norris are all looked at as locks for the 2013 rotation in Luhnow's eyes. He'd like to add a pitcher who can slot into the rotation above that trio, or at the very least in the middle of the group.

The team is in search of a backup catcher, as it's likely to decline the $4MM club option in Chris Snyder's contract. A veteran arm to join Wilton Lopez in the late innings will also be targeted.

Luhnow shied away from giving a concrete number for the team's offseason budget, but with less than $10MM in guaranteed 2013 contracts currently on the books, it's likely that Luhnow will have some spending money at his disposal. The team entered last season with a $61MM payroll.

It's a lengthy shopping list, but that's to be expected for a last place team with some money to spend. A look at the 2013 free agent market suggests that names like Luke Scott, Ty Wigginton and Jeff Keppinger could be reasonable targets for the Astros on offense (all my speculation). Each is actually a former Astro who could provide some offense and handle at least one of the corner infield position.

Keep in mind that in addition to that list, there are a number of non-tender candidates that the Astros could pursue. Someone like Mark Reynolds might appeal to Luhnow if the Orioles elect not to give him a raise via arbitration.

Full Story | 40 Comments | Categories: Houston Astros

40 Responses to Astros Will Seek DH, Pitching In Free Agency Leave a Reply

  1. Chris 3 years ago

    This is my predicted landing spot for Delmon Young.

  2. Aaron Somers 3 years ago

    Reynolds actually would make a lot of sense for this team. He could rotate through 1B, 3B, and DH, he still has some power, and he should be relatively affordable unless teams start to consider him as a primary option for third base (which would seem unlikely).

    • dc21892 3 years ago

      He still has all his power, but he’s losing ability to make contact more so than he usually does.

    • Daniel Delvecchio 3 years ago

      Reynolds is a liability at third. Plus I think Mark is looking for playing time at first while Houston is looking for a primarily DH.

      • Hal_Jordan77 3 years ago

        Dominguez will probably get most of the playing time at 3B due to his glove as long as he isn’t too terrible at the plate. If Reynolds wants to play 1B, he can play 1B and they can shift Wallace to DH. He’s probably about as good defensively at 1B as Wallace is(or not much worse). 2012 UZR indicates Reynolds is better.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      What about Adam Lind?

      I don’t know what plans GM AA has for Lind in 2013. Blue Jays fans are done waiting for him to turn himself around. Lind’s best year came in 2009 as a DH. Maybe a change in scenery is just what he needs, like Hill.

  3. Dan Gorgone 3 years ago

    Lance Berkman should be considered, esp. with his long history with the team.

  4. Brit Finnegan 3 years ago

    Bring back Berkman. I’m a Cards fan and love the guy. Obviously the Cards aren’t renewing a contract with him, but the Astros would be good people to hire back their former All-Star … and if he can’t DH, make him a batting coach, it worked out for McGwire. Long live the Big Puma!

    • Hal_Jordan77 3 years ago

      That assumes that Berkman is willing to sign with a non-contender and he’s willing to DH. And that he isn’t “insulted” by the contract offer. He seems completely willing to retire if he doesn’t find a deal that fits what he’s looking for.

  5. Daniel Delvecchio 3 years ago

    Assuming Travis Hafner doesn’t have his club option used for 2013. Houston should take a serious run at a guy who could revive his career in a place where hitting home runs is common.

    • $6592481 3 years ago

      Of course, that’s assuming he can stay healthy, which is something he hasn’t been able to do in quite some time.

  6. DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

    I don’t know how all of that young pitching is going to transition to the American League for the duration of a season. Therefore, the Astros who were baseball’s worst team last year need to make moves to improve the rotation. In order to make this fresh and positive start even better, adding dependable arms would go a long way toward stabilizing the rotation.

    The new logo appeals to me with its classic look and Im excited to see Houston and Texas have a rivalry which now is heated because they are in the same division. In order to get better and improve, they need to bring in veteran arms to compliment the young guns.

    Houston will have many options at DH, only they can decide who is brought in.
    Honestly a reunion with Berkman or Lee would be very nice for the fans.

    • BrickTops 3 years ago

      Berkman Yes, Lee no. Carlos is water under the bridge IMO

    • LukeNalooshe 3 years ago

      Until Houston is a competent baseball team, I don’t really see it manifesting into a rivalry.

      • BrickTops 3 years ago

        They have been trying for years to start a rivalry between these teams. See l”Silver Boot Series”. It has been accepted in Houston as Meh.. Most Astros fan could care less about that boot. I still think the Brew Crew should have been moved but oh well. I love the idea of signing low cost Rehabs that might have value at the deadline. If not we cut bait at the end of the year.

      • Andy Repinski 3 years ago

        That’s big talk coming from a Rangers fan who were so bad for a while they went bankrupt.

  7. gr8testsoxfan 3 years ago

    Alfonso Soriano for Bud Norris

    • OptimusSmoltz 3 years ago

      I don’t see them giving up a SP for Soriano….at least not major league level or ready pitching.

      • Hal_Jordan77 3 years ago

        I could see the Astros giving up Keuchel for Soriano. But I can also see Houston regretting that trade in a couple years. And the Cubs not accepting that offer in the first place(even though I think they would win that trade if it happened).

      • Goat_Rider 3 years ago

        None of this matters as Soriano has said he only waives his no-trade clause if he goes to a potential contender.

    • Kevin Swords 3 years ago

      The Astros are not in a position to trade for veteran players, as they are rebuilding. They have quite a bit of financial flexibility so it would be in their best interest to sign a DH type in free agency–without giving up major league or minor league pieces. Bud Norris could be a trade candidate, but they will seek young, controllable talent in return. Any free agent signing will be a short term deal for players in which they view as trade candidates this coming summer in order to further infuse talent into their organization. Additionally, they will not sign a player who receives a qualifying offer–cannot give up draft picks or sacrifice bonus pool money.

      • gr8testsoxfan 3 years ago

        Yeah but if the Cubs are willing to pay a big portion of his contract why not, the Astros are in the American league now were your going to need to score some runs, and that ballpark is a right handed pull hitters paradise

        • Andy Repinski 3 years ago

          Soriano has a full no trade and will omly accept for a winner, therefor this trade, with how little sense it already makes, is impossible.

      • Hal_Jordan77 3 years ago

        The Astros may have difficulty attracting free agents. Trading for a veteran like Soriano could solve that problem. And the more of Soriano’s contract they’re willing to take on, the less talent they’ll need to give up.

        • Kevin Swords 3 years ago

          Trading any talent for a veteran player like Soriano is counterproductive to their rebuilding effort–an effort Luhnow is fully committed to. There is no value in giving up talent for a veteran ballplayer who will no longer be around the next time that the team is competitive–especially when there are better, less expensive options in free agency. Additionally, the Astros will not exactly be going after the prized free agents of the 2012 class, so the attractiveness of the Houston Astros is relatively moot. They will seek players akin to the ones mentioned in the post–have had success in the past, looking to rebound and build value–the Astros can attract players of this variety by offering them playing time (something many clubs will not be able to offer).

          • Hal_Jordan77 3 years ago

            You apparently haven’t read the recent Luhnow interview posted on the Houston Chronicle’s website. Luhnow mentioned they may look for free agents who are names that will help sell tickets(to increase revenue) and can be good mentors. I’m not sure if Soriano would be a good mentor, but he is a name.

            Although, someone else mentioned he’d veto that trade so that’s why it’s a moot point.

            Edit: to remove link

    • gr8testsoxfan 3 years ago

      I could, Sori could very well hit 40 bombs into the Crawford box

  8. toycannon24 3 years ago

    Why don’t they just throw in Carlos Correa too. Please I wouldn’t give a bag of balls straight up for Soriano…

  9. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    I wonder if Youkilis might be an option for the Astros. He could rotate between the corners and spend some time at DH to keep his knees healthy. Might be a good veteran presence in the clubhouse as well.

  10. PlaidArmour 3 years ago

    No mention of Berkman?

  11. toycannon24 3 years ago

    I can see them going after guys like Dan Haren, Grady Sizemore, Mark Reynolds, maybe a Nick Swisher(gotta put some Fannies in the seats) and making a trade for someone like Luke Hochevar

  12. formerdraftpick 3 years ago

    Would love to see Vlad or Berkman with the Astros as their DH next year.

  13. Andy Repinski 3 years ago

    Mark Reynolds in Minute Maid with that short left field porch would be fun to watch.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Plenty of airconditioning from the swing and misses.

  14. twistworthy 3 years ago

    If the Astros sign Luke Scott, Ty Wiggington or Jeff Keppinger, that sound you’ll be hearing is the screams of pain as I punch myself in the face over and over.

  15. JT Andrews 3 years ago

    Nats offer OF/DH Mike Morse and a middling pitching prospect for Norris or Harrell. Do you make that trade, Astros fans? You need a DH (he can play LF or 1B as well) and we need a RHP as our 4/5 starter….

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