Are the Astros done before the Winter Meetings even start?
Days before the Winter Meetings start, Jeff Luhnow has done some heavy lifting already this offseason. Since the beginning of the ‘Process,’ the Astros have promised that they would spend when they felt the time was right. Luhnow also vowed that he would use whatever resources, money or prospects, to improve the team. At the time, it felt like an empty promise while we were losing 100 games.
Now that the Astros have had two straight seasons in contention, the time is now to make a go of it. Last season, they fell short of the playoffs for several reasons. Some may disagree, but the three factors were their ineptitude versus the Rangers, injuries, and the bad start. After reaching the playoffs in 2015, there was maybe too much pressure on the young team in April. We didn’t have an Adrian Beltre like the Rangers did, but now we do.
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Luhnow has added Brian McCann, Josh Reddick, and Carlos Beltran. While, these guys are not star players, they are good complimentary players to the stars we have. Last season, we heard fans say that the top 4-5 hitters were great, but the bottom was trash emojis. If they wanted to add a star, they would have signed Edwin Encarnacion. While they still might, they appear to be done with adding offense.
At the starting catcher, last year they had Jason Castro, but replaced him with 20+ homer McCann. Instead of Colby Rasmus, the Astros added Reddick. Beltran will become the player that Carlos Gomez was supposed to be, minus the speed. This team needed the leadership not to go through extended slumps. Now that they have addressed the offense, what’s next?
Astros owner Jim Crane says that the Astros are not done, they will look for pitching upgrades.
The interesting thing that Crane said was that they had made their big moves already. I can’t be the only one to look at that statement and laugh a little. You want to add pitching, but it won’t be a big move. While Jon Heyman feels like the Astros are poised for acquiring a starting pitcher.
Heyman feels that they may be after Chris Sale and Chris Archer, but they may shoot lower. There will most likely be some type of trade with the Rays if anything. If they don’t get one of the big two, look for them to go after Jake Odorizzi or Drew Smyly. While these guys may not be the impact arms you may want, they would add to the depth of the rotation. There is some feeling around baseball that the Rays will not trade Archer.
Other needs that could be addressed during reside in the bullpen. A second left-handed reliever would be helpful with the struggles of Tony Sipp. One sneaky good arm the Astros could look at is Travis Wood, who was with the Cubs last year.