Monday, February 1, 2010

Quality analysis out of...Detroit?

The Detroit News' Tony Paul has some of the best analysis of the 2010 Astros I've seen. You should absolutely read the whole thing, but here are some money quotes:

Well, let's just (say) that a club that set out this winter to trim some of last year's club record payroll -- perhaps to get the books in order as CEO (and Michigan State alum) Drayton McLane prepares to sell the club -- could have done a whole lot worse this winter. There weren't any big splashes, but there were plenty of acceptable moves.

On Pedro Feliz:
He's got more punch than most of us realize and, when healthy, he's one of the best defensive third basemen in the game; he's a decent value at $4.5 million.

On Brett Myers:
Another health concern, he gives the rotation another veteran arm, albeit one that's on a four-year streak of increasing ERAs. My question: Who were they bidding against that they felt the need to cough up $5.1 million? Apparently the Rangers, who quickly screwed their head on straight and signed almost-as-affordable Rich Harden, instead.

On Brandon Lyon (from someone who should know):
The Astros might one day regret giving him that third year -- the Tigers said two years or bust, for everybody knows relievers this side of Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan are the game's most unpredictable commodities from one year to the next -- but Houston is likely to get its money's worth this year. While $5 million might seem steep, it won't should Lyon take over the closer's role, which is a strong possibility considering the flashes of dominance he showed in the AL last summer, not to mention Matt Lindstrom hardly is a sure thing with his 20 career saves, plus he missed a chunk of last summer with an elbow strain that got him Wally Pipped by Leo Nunez in Florida (hence the Marlins' desire to trade).

On Tommy Manzella:
Now the free agent stock of shortstops is essentially all sold out, too, with Orlando Cabrera agreeing to a cheap one-year deal with the Reds. "The biggest question is Manzella," manager Brad Mills acknowledged. "And he has not given us any reason to think that he's not going to be a solid shortstop at the major league level." There's still a safety net in Jeff Keppinger, who can play third and second; that's good because Pedro Feliz and Kaz Matsui have dealt with nagging injuries in recent seasons.

Good stuff.