Here’s the latest out of Houston:
- Shortstop Carlos Correa’s name briefly surfaced in trade rumors last month, and general manager James Click said Thursday (via Mark Berman of Fox 26) that they are “open to all avenues” that could improve the franchise. However, Click added that Correa’s presence “makes it a lot easier to win,” so it doesn’t seem a deal is imminent if the Astros are aiming to earn a fifth straight playoff berth in 2021. The bigger question might be whether the Astros will retain Correa for the long haul, as he’s due to become one of the game’s most coveted free agents after next season.
- In the here and now, the Astros are facing a couple of big losses in free agency in outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley, who are currently on the open market. Springer looks as if he’ll earn a nine-figure contract this offseason. Brantley won’t cash in to that extent, but he should do well in his own right. It will be a challenge for the Astros to re-sign either of them, but Click indicated (via Berman) that they’re interested in doing so. “We are engaged on a number of fronts, those guys included,” said Click. “We will continue to put our best foot forward there and see if we can keep the team together.” If the Astros aren’t able to retain those two, though, they will “be ready to bring in some players that can help us out,” according to Click.
- Veteran reliever Joe Smith missed all of last season after opting out over family health concerns, though the right-hander told Jake Kaplan of The Athletic that he wants to play in 2021 (Kaplan’s piece is worth a full read for those who want more information on Smith’s decision). The 36-year-old Smith has been an asset to a handful of teams’ bullpens throughout his career, so if he does come back next season, he should once again help Houston. Smith has one year and $4MM left on his contract.
- Click revealed that the Astros expect third base coach Gary Pettis to return in 2021, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. Pettis missed the end of the season after a multiple myeloma diagnosis in September. The former major league outfielder, 62, has been on the Astros’ staff since 2015.
If Springer and Brantley are walking, the Astros probably should strongly consider trading Correa. That team could be mighty bare on big names in a year or two
Tucker, Yordan, Altuve, and Bregman is a strong middle of the order.
Strong, but without a frontline rotation, will strong be enough?
That will be an issue after this next season, but build the core and fill the holes.
Steven St Croix
They didn’t have one this year and made it to the 7th game of the ALCS.
They also finsihed 2 games under .500. Under normal season circumstances, they’re on the outside looking in.
Well under normal circumstances they would play 162 games.
If they can’t manage to develop Forrest Whitley then that is on them. It’s not like they don’t have young potential pitching talent. Compare them to to Cubs who had rebuilds around the same time and they never got a pitcher close to Whitley in their system in the years since they both got good.
Just because they might not have big name pitchers doesn’t mean that pitching they have won’t develop into good starters. I wouldn’t put the Astros in a poor position yet.
They were a sub 500 team when you add Brantley and Springer to that.
So no, that’s not nearly enough to compete with the pitching they have, and they don’t look to be hoarding a lot of impact pitching in the minors
Turn out the lights, the party’s over.
They say that all, good things must end. Call it a night…
Ship Correa to the Pirates
Why? Pirates couldn’t use him. They have a few young shortstops on the way if not already here. Maybe give him to a shortstop-needy team. I’m looking at you NYY
Prison. Pirates are Alcatraz, is the insinuation.
Ding ding ding
That punishes the Pirates more than Correa though so it doesn’t really make any sense. Correa still gets paid and is a FA next year while the Pirates would lose whoever they traded. Joke doesn’t really work.
Chazz wins head-scratching take of the day.
Debatable how coveted he’ll be based on his injuries and personality. He does have 2021 to show he’s still capable of putting up numbers over an injury-free season.
What are the booing rules when the Astros are in different uniforms?
Depends on if they suit up for your team or not.
That’s the exact answer.
stan lee the manly
For most baseball fans, this won’t matter
Oh no, they get booed for life.
Like manny, arod, anyone who get caught cheating doesn’t matter what uniform you put on you still be known as a cheater on that team.
Joe Smith has very quietly had a heck of a career.
No kidding. Not to mention that he doesn’t even have an all-star appearance. Career era+ of 136 and career FIP of 3.54. Nasty.
Listen to this: In 2014 with the Angels, he had an era+ of 200, an era of 1.81, a FIP of 2.85, a WHIP of 0.804, with a measly 0.5 HR/9. Over 76 appearances. That’s disgusting. Not even an all star btw.
Thanks for the stats.
Joe Smith is cool as ice when on the mound. I have seen him mow down a bunch of Brewers in my time.
That’s one helluva season! I don’t have any idea why, but he makes me super nervous when he’s pitching. Kinda like Gregerson used to. Maybe it’s just the way the camera picks up the ball out of his hands…it just looks so hittable.
I remember when he came up with the Mets. The guy was good right away. He walked on the field as Joe Smith and has been Joe Smithing ever since
I think it’s his even keel that makes him so consistent. After awhile you start to take him for granted. He just does his job. I wish the Mets had kept him.
For Love of the Game
Dullest winter meetings ever. I could barely tell the meetings happened.
Idk, we had the Lynn trade, the Iglesias trade, the Santana signing, the Flexen signing, Mccann short-comings, the Lowe trade today, the Eaton signing, and the Dombro hire. It’s been eventful, but just no huge moves like we saw last off-season.
Mets in 4! Warm up the engraver!
Honestly. I never even know they took place until the Rule 5 Draft took results came out
Less rumors, still had action
Not as many leaks come from a zoom call ending compared to an exec+ a writer taking a 5 min elevator ride
Just here for the comments.
They will also be without verlander
I’m guessing that Altuve moves into the lead off spot if Springer signs elsewhere. The Astros will still have a formidable lineup (especially if they re-sign Brantley) but losing Springer is going to be painful to say the least. If the rest of the team stays healthy and they add a decent CF like JBJ, they should be able to compete in the AL West but it sure seems like their years of being World Series contenders is coming to an end. It’s the White Sox turn now to be the perennial challenger in the AL for the next 2-3 years.
Unfortunately the Astros still win the division unless the Angels sign Bauer and Didi.
No way Angels sign Didi. They traded for Jose Iglesias. Didi is gonna go somewhere else like the Reds or maybe back to the Phillies if Dombrowski can make it happen. Wouldn’t rule out the Blue Jays for him either though.
No it isn’t.
I don’t think losing Springer will be bad. I mean, I love him. He’s great. But, he’s 31 and will age out of CF in a couple of years. A team might get a steal with in a deflated Covid market, but in most years, he would a contract that would look pretty bad on the back end.
Moving him to RF would open CF for Pedro Leon, the #6 international prospect for the signing period that starts next month. He’s had an agreement with the team to my knowledge, and he likely only plays in the minors for 1 season and not even the whole season imo. Very good potential with him. Imagine a Tucker, Leon, Springer outfield? I would pay Springer 4 years and add on 2 option years, 1st a player option, and 2nd a team option. That’s me though. A lot of money comes off the books after next season.
One of the things that I’ve liked most about the Astros over recent years is that they’ve completely avoided toxic contracts. Most contenders are undone by selling the farm and adding bad contracts.
In the Astros case, the farm is bare, but the payroll looks great. Lots of money will come off the books after next year. I am interested to see how James Click uses that money to keep the team while rebuilding developing the next waves of prospects.
The demise of the astros is overblown. Verlander, Greinke, yuli, joe smith, and i think pressley off the books next year. That frees up a ton of money to spend on their own guys or free agents. Our farm is obviously depleted but we have tons of high upside arms that are not top 100 guys but are very underrated. James Click has his work cut out for him but jim crane wants to win and has given the front office the thumbs up to do anything to make us do that
It may be overblown, but the wild card is how to free agents really view HOU. Do they want to be the ones fielding the inevitable boos from fans for others’ actions? Will HOU have to overpay FA to counter perceptions? Sure, I don’t doubt that it’s part hyperbole, but we haven’t seen fans since their punishment nor any real FA signings from them, so there’s still a lot of questions surrounding how they’re viewed by FA. I don’t doubt that they’ll field a top-flight roster though.
Stros fan here. The Correa covetedness remark is curious to me. I love Correa, and there’s no doubt that when he’s healthy he’s a very good, all Star caliber player. And he does have 2021 to show he can stay healthy.
But I’m curious to hear from fans of other teams, even setting aside his role in the scandal, is he someone that you personally covet for your team, knowing that it will take a nine figure contract of let’s say at least five years to land him?
He’s a good hitter, plus power, and is still performing way better than expected at shortstop. But it’s not like health problems get better with age. Pretend he’s a free agent right now, what are you offering to get him on your team long term?