If they sign both.
Luhnow did say he was interested in adding two bats. What if the Astros added BOTH Beltran and Encarnacion? It is not likely they can sign both, but what if they are trying to? As my co-host, Brandon said Sunday during Talking Stros. They want an offense to pound opposing teams. Just imagine adding these two players to the lineup, in addition to the other offseason moves. Take a second to think about it.
Now that you are back from the clouds, who would you bat ninth? Just for entertainment purposes only, let’s create a potential lineup.
2B – Jose Altuve
3B – Alex Bregman
1B – Encarnacion
SS – Carlos Correa
LF – Beltran
CF – George Springer
C – McCann
RF – Reddick
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This could shatter the previous high salary of $103 million in 2009 and put us in the AL elite. Adding both players would bump the 2017 estimated salary up to $149,738,000. I know what you are thinking, this is overkill. We don’t need both players. We should use some of that money to upgrade the starting rotation.
Gurriel would play more than you think, but he will have to learn how to play the outfield. Remember that Reddick struggles to a .366 OPS versus left-handed pitching. Just wanted to give you an example of what the Astros could be thinking, but it depends on what other teams can offer them. Imagine opposing pitchers having to face this lineup. Technically, there will be no need for Aoki, so they could non-tender him to save $6.8 million.
While we are dreaming, why not dream big? I will believe it when I see it, but at least the front office is trying to make a difference. I don’t think that Crane had a 50% increase of payroll in mind at the start of the offseason. In Luhnow we trust, let’s go all the way in 2017! This could get fun fans. If we sign neither, we are still good.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference. Salary info from Roster Resource and Steve the Ump***
(Estimated team payroll is subject to change through the arbitration process.)