Bo Porter (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Astros Get Some Respect

Over the past year, you could argue that I have been more optimistic than the majority regarding the future of the Astros. For that, I am guilty as charged.

Yes having to come up with content to fill this space day in and day out has proved to be difficult at times. Jeff Luhnow has a plan that I am confident in, and I think we are starting to see the execution of it and this season will start to yield some benefits. That doesn’t mean I wholeheartedly agree with every move or decision is made either, but I do respect the process.

Prior to Shin-Soo Choo signing with the Rangers, I was outspoken in my desire that the Astros not give into his excessive, in my opinion, contract demands. However, that does not mean that I don’t think Houston should spend any money or make any big ticket signings. Watching, writing about, and reading about a winning team is clearly more enjoyable.

One player who I think Jim Crane should throw $100 million at a minimum at is Masahiro Tanaka. Aces like this, especially ones that are just 25 years old, do not come available often. Signing Tanaka to a five year contract would perfectly fit in with Luhnow’s plan. It would also be an exciting addition for 2014 giving Astros’ fans something real to be excited about.

Buster Olney evidently feels the same way, as he wrote that Houston should pursue Tanaka. Now to be clear, there has not been much from Tanaka’s side about where he will be playing next season, and the rumor mill does not offer much clarity. What we do know, is that just about every playoff contender or big market team has interest to varying degrees.

Tanaka would be marketable for the franchise in the short term, and at the same time he’s an absolutely perfect fit within their long-term rebuilding plan, as the leader of a young and dynamic pitching staff.

A move like this could really jump start the franchise and the rebuilding plan. Seeing Tanaka and George Springer take the field together on Opening Day is the excitement that this fan base needs. But more importantly, it makes sense on the field too.

But it would be worth it to give the Astros a jump-start while also continuing the reconstruction plans designed to build a winner for years to come.



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Tags: Houston Astros

  • Bob Hulsey

    I would ask myself “who would Tanaka prefer to play for?” and my expectation would be that he’d want to be a Yankee or a Dodger or maybe a Cardinal. But, then again, somehow the Rangers wooed Yu Darvish so maybe these Japanese pitchers are all about the money. That’s the only reason I could see why he would have any interest in pitching here.

    Now, I’m not sure that a national sportswriter showing interest is a sign of “getting respect”. It does tell me that even the national guys understand the Astros need *somebody* to sell to the fans and, in that respect, Tanaka could be worth it but only if he’s marketable the way Yao Ming was marketable.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Yeah, maybe respect wasn’t the best word, but it is good to see people understanding the plan and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

      He might be about the money and going somewhere with less pressure. I’m not sure Houston is in his top 5 of choices, but it is worth investigating at the least

  • Zack

    This team is absolutely horrible. I wasted some time watching these players, sure there a group of good young ball players, but geez they need help.. You cant put a team of triple A players on a team expecting to get any respect from hometown fans, and say they are rebuilding. Ticket sales are at a all time low, i say 50% less from when they where midlevel in 2004 when they eventually went to the worldseries in 05. but to say the least the team has been bad, and nobody wants to watch that. ive watch alot of games but stop watching after last 3 years as its just not fun anymore. To see a team get banged around like that and not even try to win games is pathetic. People was getting pissed of when Lunhow(Owner) traded every mlb ready player that houston had for prospects, and now see what the product is. So im all in for signing someone like this, and it should pay off in the long run until there “2nd best farm system” in the league comes out in 2-3 years. They need help badly , sure they actually landed some players and open up the payroll this year but still they need help, and this is the best way to start, for sake of the fan base at least.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Totally understood. Things need to change quickly

  • Leif Daddow

    The real question is does Tanaka want to play for a team that’s up and coming? An Astros or Seattle type team, or does he wanna be a Dodger/Yankee player on a storied American legend team? I can tell you that if he is successful in a franchise like ours…. he will become a legend. Does he have that kind of desire?

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Yeah, I’m not sure that he does. Or that the Astros will really be in on him based on his contract demands.