The Houston Press is back with some advice for Drayton McLane:
I wouldn't waste any money on Oakland pitcher Justin Duchscherer. He hasn't pitched this season because of injuries. He missed most of last season because of an injuries. He's currently undergoing treatment for depression. He's over 30. If you think about it, this guy could be just like Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz, but he would get more money. And the key to the Astros getting better for next season is not wasting more money on aging, injury-prone veterans.
But there's something else I would do differently than Justice, and from what my friend wants. And it's this: I wouldn't spend much money on signing free agents. That's because signing expensive free agents is the opposite of the approach I would make with the team. This team needs to get younger. It needs to get more talent. It needs to position itself to be able to make a run for the title for years, not for a season. In short, I'm revisiting the Astros of 1990.
So turning back the clock to 1989 means:
1. Trade Berkman, Matsui, and Oswalt
2. Let Tejada and Valverde walk
3. Get rid of Ed Wade, hire Gerry Hunsicker back from Tampa Bay
4. Get rid of Cecil Cooper, hire Buck Showalter from ESPN
The hardest part will be dealing with Drayton and the fans. Because this team will be bad for several years. But if the money is invested in the farm system and the front office, and if youngsters like Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn are signed to long-term contracts that buy out their arbitration years, then a team following this blueprint can become a contender in a matter of years.
If smart people are in charge, this is a winning formula for the future.
What do you think?