Chad Qualls (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)

The Astros & the Lack of Rumors


So far this off-season, all of the moves that Jeff Luhnow has made to improve the Astros for 2014 have made sense to me. And they all have one thing in common. The trade for Dexter Fowler and the signings of Scott Feldman and Chad Qualls have all seemingly come out of nowhere.

Now we knew that the Astros needed to upgrade their bullpen, starting rotation and outfield, so you shouldn’t be too surprised by those moves. What does stand out to me, is that all were shockingly quick to happen.

We are currently in the midst of the Winter Meetings which are smack in the middle of the Hot Stove League. It is an exciting time for baseball fans, and essentially an incubator for rumors. So far the Astros have been active participants in the off-season, and that is also something that I expect to continue. But why are Luhnow and the Astros so quiet?

While I have been excited to see Houston spend money to improve the team, I have also been disappointed at times this winter. Until the Astros signed Feldman, I was not happy that Luhnow had not added a starter yet as I watched numerous options join other teams. The same was true with the bullpen until Qualls was signed. Is this fair?

After the last few seasons it certainly is. People, rightfully so, have taken a cynical approach towards the Astros. You talk about spending money and improving the team, but I’ll believe it when I see it. And now we are seeing it. Just for whatever reason, there really is not any buzz or any rumors surrounding the Astros’ plans. When that happens, it is just assumed that nothing is being done, when in reality it actually was.

The fact is, I was disappointed only because I didn’t know who the Astros were interested in. I think maybe we should start calling the Luhnow the “silent assassin”. It is clear he has a plan, even if we are not fully privy to its details. Try not to get too caught up in the rumor mill and lack of Astros “news”. However, that is something certainly easier said than done. It is too early to grade this off-season and Luhnow’s tenure, but I think so far we are progressing nicely.

But with all that being said, the rumor mill did begin to pickup on Tuesday and I think the Astros will leave Orlando a better team than they were when Luhnow arrived.

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Tags: Houston Astros

  • Larry Luttrell

    Ray, I was hoping to see what the Astros was going to do in the Winter Meetings & I don’t see anything. The only I see they picked up Anthony Bass from the San Diego Padres, well that is not telling me anything. And they are looking to bring back Jose Veras as a closer if the Astros do bring back Veras are the Astros going to do what they did to him in 2013, give him a 1 year deal & trade him for a young prospect. If the Astros that again why would Veras wantb to come back the Houston. I would at least give him a 2 year plus a option. And instead of getting Michael Morse I would go after James Loney and at least give him a 4 year plus a option. At least the Astros would have 3 power hitters in their line-up, Fowler, Loney, & Carter. If Carter can stop striking out a lot. I also would like to see that Astros get another Starter maybe a Johan Santana or Joe Saunders.

    • Joshua Nathanael Stallings

      Fowler is a power hitter?

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Well Bass was essentially their Rule 5 pick, which i like. I still see something getting done with Veras, probably sorting out incentives for games finished.

      You wont need to go more than 3 years on Loney, but I wouldnt call him specifically a power hitter.