The latest Astros rumor is a strange one Mr. Luhnow!
Just when you thought it was safe to start building the current roster, another Astros rumor comes out. We have the deepest lineups in baseball, according to Mike Petriello, they have eight players projected to be above average. The only exception in the lineup is the ninth spot, expected to be manned by Nori Aoki and Jake Marisnick. This was ahead of the Blue Jays, Indians, Red Sox, and everyone else.
Many people feel that we could use another starting pitcher, but they will wait until the trade deadline. There are a few free agents who are available, but none that I would think would make any sense. We can do a reunion tour of 2015 and bring back Hank Conger and Chris Carter, but the Astros didn’t want them then. Ryan Howard is available, but no.
Matt Wieters, anyone?
Then I see this Astros rumor that made me say, what! Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe, via MLB Trade Rumors, stated that Matt Wieters could be a possible option. Okay, where are the cameras, am I being punked?
This makes no sense for the Astros, let’s look a deeper into his context. Carfardo said that the Blue Jays were interested in Wieters, but they signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor league deal. The Rays have shown interest and still are an option for Wieters.
Carfardo then mentioned that Wieters would be a curious add following acquiring Brian McCann this offseason. Evan Gattis has become the backup catcher on this team following his strong return behind the plate. This lineup is so loaded that Gattis is not even guaranteed everyday at-bats this year. The Astros want Carlos Beltran to serve as the designated hitter, leaving Yulieski Gurriel to cover first base.
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There was a time this season that I would have been all for signing Wieters, but Gattis and McCann are better options. Wieters is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to have a market value of about $13 million. That is too much to add another catcher when you are already paying McCann that money.
Wieters batted .243 with 17 homers, and 66 RBI’s in 2016 but is not known for his defense. He has played first base in four games in his career. Adding him to the Houston lineup would make Gattis very expendable, or he will have to move to the outfield. Gattis could then be traded to the Rays for one of their pitchers not named Chris Archer. Or…
I’m going to stop there. Plus, Wieters has a wRC+ of 88 projection by Fangraphs, which is below average. We only want above average hitters, kidding. Until I hear more chatter, I’m not going to give this Astros rumor too much consideration. I’m going just to nod my head and just say, yeah, that’s going to happen. However, we never know what Jeff Luhnow will do. Move on Astros fans, nothing to see here.
***Stats by Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs***