With the Giants taking care of the Tigers in four straight games to win the 2012 World Series the offseason is now underway. That means a couple of things. First, the Astros are now official residents of the American League West. Secondly, teams can now start jockeying for position in the race to acquire Free Agents.
No longer a team in limbo without a real home, the Astros can now join the rest of the league in the search to plug holes in their roster. Jeff Luhnow has stated that the Astros won’t be seeking to add any high profile Free Agents this winter, but he will be looking to add cost-effective players that fit in with the long term plan.
The outfield and the pitching staff have been mentioned as areas that need to be addressed. A designated hitter is also on Luhnow’s wish list.
Teams can begin signing Free Agents as early as Friday night at midnight (Eastern). But don’t expect the Astros to be one of the early birds. It’s more likely that Houston will sit back and wait for an opportunity to get a decent player or two late in the game when it becomes more of a buyer’s market.
There are over 130 players who are already Free Agents and more than 50 additional players who could become Free Agents by Friday. That’s the deadline for teams to exercise options on players who have them written into their contracts. Once the dust starts to settle and the picture is a little clearer we’ll take a closer look at who the Astros might be targeting. Look for that post in a few days.