According to conventional wisdom, it is felt that the Astros have approximately $20 Million to spend this offseason. While that may seem like a large amount, $20 Million does not go as far as it used to. After all, Pablo Sandoval would not have been a $20 Million a year player a few years back. Times have certainly changed.
While the Astros claim that their focus has been on the bullpen heading into the Winter Meetings, that may well change. Among the multitude of holes that the Astros need to fill, third and short are also on that list. With that in mind, it is no surprise that the Astros have been connected with Jed Lowrie and Chase Headley.
Once again, the Astros and Yankees find themselves looking at the same player. And once again, the ramifications of signing the player, in this case, Chase Headley, go far beyond that one spot in the lineup. While Headley would easily be an upgrade over Matt Dominguez, bringing him in could have a major impact over what the Astros do both this year and in the future.
Friars on Base
With Headley in tow, the path to the majors for either, if not both, of Rio Ruiz and Collin Moran would appear to be blocked. Perhaps the Astros would be able to trade one, if not both, to acquire the help they need at short or in the bullpen while adding other prospects. If both players were to go in separate deals, the Astros could potentially get back a few pieces they need to be closer to competing this season.
Likewise, if Chase Headley is brought in, that contract would likely eat up a great deal of the $20 Million that the Astros have earmarked to improve the team. Right now, Headley is thought to have a four year, $65 Million offer in place. Should that come from the Astros, they would then have another $3.75 Million to improve short and the bullpen. While upgrades like Joe Thacther may not cost much, that $3.75 Million may not make that big of a difference in the bullpen overall.
Chase Headley would certainly be an upgrade at third for the Astros. However, given their budgetary concerns and the amount of holes they need to fill, he just is not the right fit.