So, due to some prior commitments today (like, "Work") we're a little late in getting you the news, but here's the big story of the day:
Michael Bourn avoided an arbitration hearing, signing a deal for $4.4 million for 2011.
Jeff Keppinger did the same thing, signing for $2.3 million in 2011 (not bad for a guy who'll be in a cast until May).
Clint Barmes did the same thing, signing for $3.925 million in 2011, plus incentives.
"[Assistant GM] David [Gottfried] handled the negotiations and indicated yesterday that we thought we had the opportunity to get at least these three done. The goal is always the same. It's to slot a player at the proper place in the salary structure, and I think the work David did and the cooperation of the players and their agents allowed us to do that with these three guys."
The Astros have exchanged figures with Wandy and Pence, and hope to get a deal done before a hearing, in which the Astros have to tell their players they're not worth what they think they're worth.
As AstroBrit pointed out in a tweet, the WAR figures aren't too shabby.
In signing Bourn, Barmes, and Keppinger, the Astros committed a total of $10.625m today for three players whose WAR totaled 7.0, or $1.52m per win above replacement.
Of course, Keppinger will miss until May, and Barmes is coming off a 0.4 WAR season, but Bourn's deal is quite nice.
Says Aaron Gleeman on Barmes:
He’s a good defender at either middle infield spot and the Astros were in need of a shortstop, but Barmes’ bat is utility man-caliber at best and making a trade for the right to pay him $4 million this season is all kinds of wrong.