As we head into the All-Star break, the Houston Astros are, as usual, 4 or 5 games back. They have long held a reputation of a team that refuses to trade top players for prospects, hanging on to the aging talent that has kept them competitive, keeping near the top of their division, but not into the playoffs. This over-sentimental practice is the idea of owner Drayton McLane, who knows how to run goods distribution centers and does not know baseball, but still runs the team, with GM Ed Wade as a puppet. The time has come for the ‘Stros to rebuild now, it may already be too late.
The average age for an Astro starter is 32. Their desirable hitting stars, such as Lance Berkman, Miguel Tejada, and Carlos Lee, are all on the wrong side of 30, ages 33, 35, and 33 respectively. The average age for a Astros pitcher is 31.6. They don’t have many pitchers who would draw interest on the trade market, but ace Roy Oswalt, 31, could return a huge haul.
One attractive trade possibility:
Miguel Tejada (under contract through 2009, $6 million left on contract, age 35), traded to Red Sox for a pitcher, one of Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, Manny Delcarmen.
The Red Sox need a shortstop badly, their combo of Nick Green/Julio Lugo doesn’t field well at all, and doesn’t hit well. While Tejada wouldn’t necessarily be a defensive improvement, he would certainly be a offensive improvement. To make this deal work, the ‘Stros could also pick up some of Tejada’s salary.
The fact of the matter is that the Astros need to trade off their aging veterans before it is too late. But knowing Drayton McLane, Houston will miss its opportunity to cash in. They can’t ride 2005
Note: I will be out of town for a week and unable to post