At Thursday’s press conference Jim Crane said he would be making a few moves shortly after Thanksgiving. What exactly does the Astros new owner have in mind? Crane went on to say that the plan is to continue to develop in the minor leagues. That would suggest that he plans to trade one or more of the remaining veterans or…
Perhaps Crane is about to clean house. Ed Wade and Brad Mills could both be on the hot seat. Wade’s tenure as the Astros G.M. can be described as mediocre at best. The same could be said about manager Brad Mills. One reader commented that Mills has American League experience from his days as a bench coach in Boston. This is true, but the move to the A.L. is a year away. Is Crane willing to take a wait and see approach with his skipper? Maybe not. I don’t think I would.
Wade has been anything but a popular figure in Houston. Rumors continue to swirl about the possibility of Andrew Friedman being brought in to replace Wade. Removing Wade and/or Mills would be more popular with fans than trading away Wandy Rodriguez would. Crane knows he has to win back fans and has stated as much. Plus, players like Rodriguez, Carlos Lee, and Brett Myers could bring more prospects if dealt at the trade deadline, especially if a more competent G.M. was constructing those deals. Keeping those players around for the first half of the season should also translate into more wins. In addition, they provide a veteran presence in the clubhouse. I think both of those are important factors for the young players.
In short, Mills and Wade should be very nervous right about now. I guess we will find out in a week or so.