In a completely new, original opinion, the Rice Thresher says the Astros' problems all start at the top. Why didn't we think of that! I thought if Strech Suba could finally pull his crap together, it would be a difference of 15 wins!
But help for the minor league system is a long time coming, because Wade is too busy allotting his resources towards securing mediocre pitchers like Lyon and Myers. Only a truly awful 2010 season will convince Wade that he cannot fix his team without making drastic changes. I hate to wish for disaster, but if the Astros do not fail completely and quickly, the team's management will remain oblivious to its steady fall into the cellar.
The Astros need to completely overhaul their minor-league teams. They need to assert themselves, and powerfully, in the international free agent market. They need to find ways to trade for the young talent that they currently lack. They need to unload the engorged contracts of players like Lee for anything they can get. And they need to heed these warnings before it is too late.
This is a team on the brink of several seasons, or maybe even a whole decade, of futility. Pirates fans know the frustration of a talentless farm system and a mediocre major league team, and they recognize their team's past in the Astros' future. The Pirates should be a warning, not a role model, for Wade and his team.
Perhaps the most obvious sign that the Astros are a team nearing oblivion came when team owner Drayton McLane announced that he was accepting bids from groups interested in buying the team. But nobody wanted the hapless Astros. One group sniffed, but McLane never received an offer.
If this article would have been written in 2005, it would have been timely and insightful. How much more can you overhaul the minor-league system than what Bobby Heck has done over the past two drafts? And the international signings? I guess Mesac Laguna, Edgar Ferreira, and Chan-Jong Moon don't really count as being aggressive in the international market, because, you know, we didn't get Aroldis Chapman or Miguel Sano.
And Drayton didn't sell the team because he wanted too much money, not because nobody wanted it. There's not a Major League team that nobody wants. This one's about five years too late.