Well, the Winter Meetings are over and the Astros seemingly didn’t accomplish much. With an emphasis on seemingly, let’s just talk about that for a minute.
At least one report says that the Astros made an outstanding offer to Gerrit Cole. Purportedly, he was offered seven years at $250M. That’s $5M over the Yankee’s initial offer and a mere $300K below the AAV ultimately accepted by Cole from the Yankees. If you ask me, this offer proves that the Astros were as all-in as they could have been to persuade him to return to H-Town. To me, this also speaks volumes to the fact that money was not much of a factor in Cole’s ultimate decision.
Chances are, he just wanted to be a Yankee — especially after being swooned by their entourage that included Andy Pettitte, among others. We wish Cole nothing but the best in his 9-year future in pinstripes. Seemingly, the only thing he’s going to lose in this trade is his beautiful locks and facial hair.
I guess the Yankees will have to decide if their usual M.O. still works when they’re in the midst of Orange October in 2020. After all, history does tend to repeat itself.
During the Rule 5 draft, the Astros lost three players, Brandon Bailey (RHP – Orioles), Yohan Ramirez (RHP – Mariners), and Jonathan Arauz (SS – Red Sox) while not picking up anyone. This could be for a myriad of reasons, the most obvious being there are currently only two open spots on the 40-man roster.
Our needs for a catcher, at least one SP, and one reliever could have played an even bigger part in this decision. Due to the success of the 2019 Astros, their pick was in the 30th round in both the ML and AAA drafts. So perhaps there was no one left that deserved a second look and/or a spot on the 26-man roster for the entirety of 2020 (never mind the $100K).
"Luhnow was quoted as saying that “We’re not going to make any news here at the Winter Meetings. It’s my guess.” via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com"
This is so indicative of Luhnow’s patience. (Man, he’s so very patient and doesn’t panic – unlike the Astros fandom.) One has to believe that the Winter Meetings for the Astros’ GM was all about finding that underdog trade and/or FA pick up that he’s become so known for, which brings us to the rumors surrounding trading Carlos Correa.
Rumors started flying that Correa was on the block to be traded. Despite the reported assurances that were personally given by Luhnow to Correa in a phone conversation, one has to consider this is what is going to happen. While some would argue Correa’s value to be too low because of his lack of playing time over the past three seasons (averaging 98 games apiece), his value as a trade piece is higher this season than next — at least to the recipient of his contract.
His projected $7M arbitration value is far less than it should be because of his lack of playing time in 2019. Plus, he has two seasons of control left. With 2021 being his last season before free agency, one would think that a recipient team would be more willing to trade now than later. And this trade becomes even more appealing if he were combined with OF Josh Reddick.
Coupling Reddick’s defensive prowess and veteran presence along with Correa’s talent at SS is a much more appealing trade package and could perhaps yield a starting pitcher since it could somewhat even out any trade.
Freeing salary and making a few trades is tantamount to the end goal for both the team and fans, i.e., extending Springer and finding another diamond in the rough.
One has to believe in the magic wand of Jeff Luhnow to make something spectacular happen before the start of spring training. So, the Winter meetings were not as uneventful as they might appear from the outside looking in, at least not from this fan’s perspective after much thoughtful reasoning and giving the full picture an honest view.
The Astros may have lost out on re-signing Cole, but I’m positive the Astros haven’t lost their magic touch when it comes to plugging in the glaring holes in our current roster. Stay tuned. I’m sure there will be breaking news very soon!!