As you settle in for a football Sunday, there are a lot Hot Stove rumors to be aware of. It is important to remember to take all of the rhetoric swirling around for what it is, and not to fully believe any of it until it actually happens.
To varying degrees, today’s notes all impact the Astros. In some cases it directly impacts a player they could possibly pursue, but in other cases it will impact the offseason marketplace as a whole.
- Speculation has been rampant that the Miami Marlins will deal their 23-year old slugging phenom Giancarlo Stanton this winter. As the Astros look to upgrade their squad, Stanton would look awfully nice in right field and more importantly in the middle of the order. Granted dealing for Stanton would come at a high cost to the farm system, but I think it would potentially be worth it. Regardless, per Marlins General Manager Dan Jennings, it does not look like Stanton will be going anywhere.
- Barry Zito is now on the open market, and could be a low-cost veteran option for the Astros in the rotation. Yes he is 35 years old, and also coming off of a season that saw him put up a 5-11 record with a 5.74 ERA, but I think he might be worth a look. He already received $7 million from the Giants to buy him out, so Zito could come cheap. I am not advocating Houston should aggressively pursue Zito, but he should be on the list.
- In the trade market, the Astros’ surplus of prospects and deep minor league system will be an asset. I have not seen much linked specifically to Houston and David Price, but the Astros will have competition as the Dodgers will be looking to make a trade for Price.
- Houston will need to bring in a veteran closer with a track record for 2014. That is a must. Joe Nathan is available, at least on paper, and the Astros should investigate acquiring him. He will turn 39 before next season, but Nathan also saved 43 games and had a 1.39 ERA last season.