Dana Brown insistent Houston will retain its top talent
Astro fans are all too familiar with the process. Houston drafts or acquires a promising young talent. Said promising young talent strings together an exceptional career in a Houston uniform throughout their arbitration years. Said promising young talent now hits free agency as a proven star and leaves for a massive payday and long-term contract security. Lather, rinse, repeat.
As of now, Houston has done a great job of replacing names like Springer, Correa and Cole with other talent, but the cupboard is bare in the farm system. They simply can't afford to keep letting players leave.
Enter Dana Brown, stage right. The new GM has been adamant that retaining top talent is of utmost importance since he arrived on the scene in Houston. Just one day ago we covered Brown's appearance on The A-Team in which he touched on extensions for names like Javier and Tucker.
Brown provided plenty of soundbites today at Media Day that should have Astros fans on the edge of their seats.
First, from Chandler Rome:
It is past time. Crane's aversion to long-term deals has kept some bad deals from being made, but in the case of some of their current crop of young talent (Javier, Tucker, etc.), a long-term extension is a must.
He shared that the Astros are in talks with multiple players and their agents, specifically naming core pieces in Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve.
This is simply fantastic news. Both Altuve and Bregman are faces of the franchise and have been steadying presences in the face of the 2017 scandal fall-out. They're staples in the heart of the order and certified October legends. Letting either walk would be a disservice to both the players themselves and the fans.
Speaking of fans, Brown touched on them as well:
"I think you owe it to the fanbase to try to go after them, to lock the player up, so your players are not walking out the door and your team falls off the cliff. "- Dana Brown
He also alluded to putting the fan base first to go after their talent. He said while sometimes it is inevitable, the Astros will avoid free agency whenever possible.
Brown is currently working on ensuring free agency is avoided for Cristian Javier and Kyle Tucker, both currently undergoing arbitration. He said talks with Javier are currently going really well and "we feel really good about that one." He then alluded to chipping away on an extension for Kyle Tucker, saying some deals take longer than others.
"I want you guys to know if a guy walks out of here, it's not going to be because we didn't go after them aggressively. We're trying to sign players. That's part of how I was trained in the front office and it's a way of sustaining the winning atmosphere long-term."- Dana Brown
Brown also added that he will be heavily involved in Houston's draft process, emphasizing that he can't blow that. Brown's draft pedigree is rather deep. With the Nationals, he landed names like Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg and in Atlanta landed Michael Harris III and Spencer Strider. He added that his drafting philosophy is "select, secure and sustain."
He also added that Houston will be revamping and adding to their scouting staff, which will benefit the drafting process and help revamp the farm system.
In light of all of his comments on contract extensions, scouting and the draft, another of Brown's quotes today rings true:
"Houston, you got me and we're going to have a good run."- Dana Brown
Right you are, Dana. A good run is in store. And we're off to quite a good start.