Besides the question of Who Will Be Manager, perhaps the biggest off-season decision the Astros have to make is regarding the status of Miguel Tejada. Should Ed Wade sign him to a new contract, or let him walk as a free agent?
Obviously, the Astros would like to get something in return for Tejada, should they let him walk. This is where arbitration comes in. If the Astros offer Tejada arbitration and he signs with another team, the Astros would be entitled to extra draft picks in the 2010 June Draft. Problem is, Tejada has apparently fallen in love with Tha 832/713/281, and is fervently hoping to return to Houston.
There's no way the Astros will resign him at his previous contract's rate, but as an experiment, Jon Heyman got together with an agent and a GM to predict the market value of some key free agents, Tejada included. They each separately pegged Tejada in the $9-10 million range. Tejada has had such a great year offensively that his arbitration case would probably be in that range, as well.
One of the keys to this is what type of free agent will Tejada will be named. Trade Rumors has Tejada currently listed as a Type B free agent - meaning the Astros will receive one draft pick from a team who signs him away. Is running the risk of Tejada accepting arbitration worth $10 million for one draft pick? Me say no.