Astros Offseason Chat: 2022-23
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Anthony Franco
11:58
Hey everyone, hope you're all having a good morning!
Lots to talk about with the Astros, excited to get into it
Nick
11:58
Do you see Brantley or Yuli staying with the Astros?
Anthony Franco
11:59
Yuli feels more likely to me in light of the comments Jim Crane made to Brian McTaggart last week. Sure seemed like he wanted him back, whereas he was a little more hesitant on Brantley given the uncertainty with his shoulder
Jerry Craine
11:59
been seeing rumors (i made them up) about Lourdes Gurriel to Houston
Anthony Franco
12:00
Ha well I also threw Lourdes in there as an entirely speculative possibility for their left field search. He's not a left-handed bat, which they apparently prefer, but I could see that working if they cast a slightly wider net
Brian B
12:00
Would it make sense to sign Bell and Abreu? They could split time at first and DH.
Anthony Franco
12:01
Both of them? No. That's a huge investment that means you're having to play Yordan in left field every day. That's not happening, but either/or makes sense
Guest
12:01
How much of a disadvantage are the Astros both short and long term without a GM?  Short meaning nobody wanting to sign or deal with Crane and long term meaning hurt by contracts Crane does himself?
Anthony Franco
12:02
I don't think it's a short-term concern the way you're looking at it. If the Astros top the market for free agents, they'll get guys to sign. Money talks and they're still an immediate upper-tier World Series contender
12:04
Now the longer-term thing you raise about Crane not trusting his baseball operations staff and potentially making ill-advised moves is more of a concern for me. Definitely has the potential for some eyebrow-raising moves that are out of line with market expectations, but I imagine he'll eventually hire a GM he trusts to rein him in
Danny
12:04
Are there any CF trade options? I know the Pirates don’t seem to be willing to part with Reynolds.
Anthony Franco
12:05
Not a whole lot, none I think are demonstrably better than Chas. Michael Taylor, Max Kepler can play center if you want him to, one of the D-Backs guys (Jake McCarthy or Alek Thomas probably)
Rangers could deal Adolis García for pitching help, but I doubt that'd be with the Astros if it happens
James Clicks son
12:05
Urquidy for Happ or Garcia for Moreno?
Anthony Franco
12:06
Don't think either of those gets it done, although an Urquidy/Happ framework could be more viable if the Cubs are out of it again at the deadline
12:07
Think Toronto's highly unlikely to move Moreno and if it happens, it's as part of a package for a star. Garcia's a very good pitcher but not on that level
Guest
12:07
Are the astros chances of resigning JV at an all time low right now?
Kyle L
12:07
What are the odds you think of the Astros resigning Verlander?
Anthony Franco
12:08
They're not my favorite fit but I wouldn't go so far as to say "all-time low." There's a gap on money but JV does seem to love it there and has a good rapport with Crane
12:09
Guess I'd say around 20%? Would probably give a slight edge to Philly and the Giants over Houston but not dramatically so. Dodgers, Cardinals, Blue Jays all make some sense
Mets too obviously
12:10
20% might feel low but I wouldn't pick any individual team above like 30%. There are too many viable fits to feel confident in any single landing spot
Guest
12:10
Do you see the Astros going after a left handed CF in a trade.Mullins/reynolds. Given their reluctance to sign a guy like Nemo to a longer deal.
Anthony Franco
12:10
I'm sure they'll try to rekindle those discussions but think the time to get either of those guys has passed
12:11
Guess if they're dealing an immediate big league rotation arm like Javier to Baltimore, you can get them thinking on Mullins. But the chance to swing a prospects for Mullins deal is gone
Yordan A
12:11
Some speculation that I may play left field full time next year? Are you buying that?
Anthony Franco
12:12
Not really, feels too risky given his injury history. When healthy, I think he's a perfectly fine left fielder, but asking him to log 1200 innings out there feels like a stretch when the important thing is to get his bat in the lineup
Guessing they'll add some corner OF help and we end up with like a 40/60 split between LF and DH time for Yordan
HTown713
12:12
Should the Astros try and sign a top free agent starting pitcher to replace Verlander? Or should they stand pat on that front and focus on signing someone like Abreu and a backup catcher
Anthony Franco
12:13
Yeah I don't think a top-of-the-rotation arm is really a concern if Verlander walks. The in-house options are still really good, so JV would be the lone exception for me to make that kind of investment back in the rotation
12:14
Maybe you bring in a depth type who can work long relief and acclimate to the rotation if injuries hit some of the younger starters, but I doubt they'd pivot to Rodón or anything like that
Crane's the man
12:14
I have not heard a connection with Conforto who makes tons of sense. Why?
Anthony Franco
12:15
It's just early. The only team that's been linked to Conforto so far is the Mets, with whom he's obviously spent his whole career
It's a fine fit, I agree. Conforto will probably get interest from a third of the league, and I expect Houston will be rin that mix
12:16
In*
Obviously Right
12:16
What would it cost to trade for Goldschmidt?
Anthony Franco
12:16
This isn't happening. Cardinals wouldn't even consider it
Astros 2023 Champs
12:16
Could  Luis Garcia, Korey Lee and Whitley get you Sean Murphy from the A's?
Anthony Franco
12:17
Doubt it. Garcia's an interesting starting point, but he's only controllable for one more season than Murphy. He could be the headliner, but you'd need a legitimate second and third piece to get Oakland to bite
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