If they sign Beltran.
Yesterday, on High Heat on Baseball Network, Jeff Luhnow said that he is looking to add one or two more bats. There are a lot of whispers out there that the team is going hard after Carlos Beltran. He would play left field for the Astros if they sign him. Let’s assume that he is seeking a two-year deal for between $14-16 million dollars per season.
Let’s split the difference and say Beltran signs for $15 million. This will put the estimated payroll at $128,738,000 for 2017. As much as the Houston front office believes in A.J. Reed, they may not believe that he’s ready to contribute yet. The Astros have been linked to Edwin Encarnacion and most recently, Mike Napoli as options to play first base. I made a bold prediction that the Astros would sign Encarnacion and I’m not backing down.
If they sign Encarnacion.
Encarnacion reportedly turned down $80 million dollar contract offer from the Blue Jays this offseason. He was reportedly seeking a five-year $125 million dollar deal this offseason, but he has yet to sign. He could be waiting for the new CBA to be revealed to see if the Red Sox or Yankees could offer more. The big free-agents are waiting to see what the new luxury tax threshold is before signing a deal.
What is he does sign Encarnacion, let’s say it would take $20 million for five years to sign him. Let’s assume that signing Encarnacion prevents them from getting Beltran. That would raise the estimated payroll to $134,738,000. That would be crazy for the mid-market Stros, but we don’t know how much Jim Crane upped the budget. They could see this as a window to win, so they could do something crazy.