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Astros: Houston unlikely to make big moves in free agency

George Springer (4) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning during game five of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
George Springer (4) reacts after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning during game five of the 2020 ALCS at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Astros are likely done making big moves this winter. But why?

The Houston Astros still have major needs on the roster such as identifying George Springer’s replacement in center field and finding a reliable arm to pitch the ninth inning. So, it was surprising to hear general manager James Click tell reporters that the team will most likely not be aggressive the rest of the offseason.

There have been complaints that Click still spends like he is running the Tampa Bay Rays. The Astros have lost George Springer this winter while signing Michael Brantley, Pedro Baez and Ryne Stanek. And perhaps by not signing Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brad Hand, two players the team have expressed interest in, those complaints are valid.

“We’re going to have to take a deep breath at this point and reassess our own situation, own needs, Click said.

Click later went on to say that he feels good about the current roster, and quite frankly, it is hard to see why. Of course, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are returning and there should be bounce back seasons from a few players who struggled in 2020. But the team has not gotten better from last year, and they have done nothing to replace Springer in center field.

It puts the team in a precarious position even with the American League West being winnable. The Texas Rangers have traded multiple players and done little to improve their roster. The Oakland Athletics have lost Liam Hendriks and are soon going to lose Marcus Semien. The Seattle Mariners once again do not look like contenders. It is possible that the Los Angeles Angels, who have made strong moves under new general manager Perry Minasian, are the Astros biggest competition to winning the division.

It is possible that the Astros wait out the free-agent market and finds a player at a value too good to pass up. It is possible that the team signs complimentary players to fill out the rest of the roster. And it is possible that Click is saving payroll for potential trades at the deadline should the Astros be in contention.

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But in no way should the Astros feel comfortable about their roster as it stands today, and the loss of Springer should be reason No. 1.

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