Bottom of the ninth inning, the Astros have a 3-2 lead, all of a sudden “Sweet Home Alabama” starts playing. Out of the bullpen comes the new Astros closer to his walk up music, as the crowd sings along with the song. This is a preview of what might come, if the Astros are serious about upgrading their bullpen.
Some people would say having an elite closer would be like having a screen door on a submarine. But an elite closer will cover the screen door by holding on to the lead that was given them.
Now pitching for your Houston Astros, David Robertson. Earlier in the offseason (November 13), Brian McTaggart wrote that the Astros were going to go after a top closer, mentioning Sergio Romo, Andrew Miller, and David Robertson. Most Astros fans probably did not think that it would happen, so there was not much more talk about it. Another year with the “fist pumping” Chad Qualls.
In the article linked in the above tweet that came out late last night, Ken Davidoff states that he has heard it from a source that the Astros were going hard after Robertson. In the article, Davidoff said it would take around $13 million each year for 4 years to get the stud Yankee closer. “The kind of money it would take to get a dominant player at another position probably just isn’t in the budget this offseason”(Evan Drellich).
“The kind of money it would take to get a dominant player at another position probably just isn’t in the budget this offseason.”-Evan Drellich
So Jim Crane said he’s willing to expand the payroll $20 million this year, that leaves only $7 million to get one more bullpen member and maybe a SS/3B. Do the Astros upgrade the back of the rotation over a position player? This tells me that the dreams of Pablo Sandoval or Hanley Ramirez are not going to happen.
Then again, how many games did the Astros closer/bullpen blow this year? I’m sure that Jarred Cosart, Dallas Keuchel, and Collin McHugh wish they had a better closer to save some of those games where the bullpen tied or gave up the lead. The following came from Evan Drellich in an article about Astros adding a top closer.
“We’ve said all along one of our goals this offseason is to make our bullpen better, and I think we’ve got a core of that we like,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said when asked if top closers are being considered. “We want to add to it. Whether it’s putting guys early in the game or later in the game depends on … what the market looks like, both the market and the trade market. But at this point, I would say we are considering all options when it comes to the bullpen” (Evan Drellich).
“We’ve said all along one of our goals this offseason is to make our bullpen better, and I think we’ve got a core of that we like,”-Jeff Luhnow
Jeff Luhnow has talked about how he wants free agents to take the Astros seriously, well here is your chance. If there is one thing that I think will improve the Astros, it’s the bullpen. One thing is for sure, Chad Qualls looks better as a setup guy. Go for the gold Jeff, then go after a certain Cuban hitter.
Do you think that David Robertson would sign with the Astros? If you were GM, what would you do with the extra $20 million?