Jason Castro (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Hot Stove Roundup, Congratulations, & An Interesting Link

Let’s a take a look at some news and links around the internet this weekend that focus on or involve the Astros.

The free agent market continues to progress at a high pace as we head into the Winter Meetings next week.

  • Curtis Granderson who at times was talked about as a potential option for the Astros, maybe more by me than anyone else I will concede, signed with the New York Mets for four years and $60 million. I think the terms of the contract are actually pretty reasonable. But it is understandable that Granderson would want to stay in New York and another issue which I’m sure the Astros are fighting this off-season, is that the Mets are closer to playoff contention than the Astros.
  • The biggest signing of the off-season took place in Houston’s division as the Seattle Mariners made a splash by signing Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract. Yes they overpaid, probably by like $50-$60 million, but it had to be done in order for them to become serious contenders. They still need a few more bats, but at least they have become more credible. The problem here, is that the Astros must face Cano 18 times a season.
  • In an effort to replace Cano, the Yankees signed former Astro outfielder Carlos Beltran to a three year, $45 million contract. The Yankees now have six outfielders which makes Brett Gardner, Ichiro, Vernon Wells, and Alfonso Soriano expendable. Depending on the cost, Soriano is probably the only one who would have much of a place on the Astros. Gardner likely has the most trade value, but after the addition of Dexter Fowler, what the Astros need is more power.
  • So far, all we have seen is useful relievers get snapped up by other teams while the Astros’ bullpen is still in need of improvement. The latest reliever to change teams on reasonable terms is Edward Mujica who signed with the Boston Red Sox to be a setup man for two years and $9.5 million.

Brad Johnson takes an interesting and detailed look at the Astros on Fangraphs.

That starts with dynamic, athletic talents like Fowler and starting pitchers who can keep the offense in the game like Feldman. If those two players can stay healthy, the Astros have a good chance to win over 60 games. That sounds like nothing, but given the breadth of young, unproven talent in the organization, it will only take a few breakout performances to get to 70 wins. Then everybody is talking about the up-and-coming Astros who have all the young talent and payroll flexibility necessary to bolster the club. That’s a compelling story to sell to fans and free agents alike.

Also, congratulations to Jason Castro on his graduation from Stanford.

 

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