The Hot Stove is starting to simmer and we find the Astros being aggressive all of a sudden.
But what does this mean for the Houston’s mindset this offseason?
Well, this could possibly be that the team’s ownership has finally decided to pony up the cash needed to turn this team into a “true” contender. While the recent resurgence of the Astros has been a delight to see so quickly following their rebuild, the fact remains that this team has flaws.
The only conceivable way of fixing those flaws is to spend money. And I am not talking about chump change. Face it, 86 and 84 wins the past two seasons are nice storylines. But that is about all they are. And with plenty of salary obligations coming off the books this winter, then there shouldn’t be any excuse why the team was short on cash.
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For example, the offense wouldn’t mind another potent bat in the middle of the order. Say what you will about this team now, but the offense tends to disappear at times. That is just the nature of baseball. But adding a bat like a Cabrera could remedy such an issue. Just imagine his career 147 wRC+ as a member of the Astros? Yes, I become giddy thinking about it as well.
Of course, the Astros actually acquiring someone like a Cabrera is whole another story. I just quiver when I think of the potential package and the money associated with him till at least the 2023 season.
Then the same could be said of the financial commitment to an Encarnacion to play first base and designated hitter as well. Then there is short-term monetary commitment to McCann and Beltran. But in theory, all four would improve the Astros in some shape or fashion. It just comes at a price. And that is a price that the Jim Crane ownership group must be willing to pay.
Another reason behind this sudden aggression by team ownership could be other rivals improving their team while Houston stood pat. One could argue that staying at the status quo cost the team a spot in the postseason. It sounds like they are not wanting that to be the case this winter.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**