Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Astros looking for outfield bat

Finally! NEWZ! Jeff Luhnow told new Astros beat writer Evan Drellich that the Astros were really looking for more production from the outfield...which makes sense since Astros outfielders hit .242/.294/.367 as a unit in 2013 (2013 AL average slash line for an outfielder was .260/.322/.412).

Luhnow, speaking from the GM and Owner's Meetings in Orlando, told Drellich that it's why they went hard after Jose Dariel Abreu (to watch Abreu sign with the White Sox). If you look at what the Astros have in the infield...(according to Luhnow, click the link for context)

1B/DH: Carter, Wallace (!), Krauss
2B: Altuve
3B: Dominguez
SS: Villar

That's pretty much set. Luhnow mentioned the possibility of acquiring a third baseman, but "where would Dominguez play?"

Really our opportunity is to add another offensive weapon is in the outfield.

How would they do such a thing? By considering the possibility of trading some young talent (because you don't have to convince a traded player to play for you), a possibility Drellich says is furthered by the fact that Luhnow has already begun conversations with other teams.

Again, Luhnow:
We’ve been accumulating talent and the idea is to use that talent to help us win at the major league level. Whether that comes through trades or players naturally getting there and playing for us, we have to consider all of our alternatives. We know we need to improve at the big league level, and it needs to start next year and it needs to be significant.

Of course there is a larger strategy at work:
So we’re not going to do anything to block any of our players or disrupt their development. But you can argue that we’re in a position where we have some areas of excess in terms of future talent, and we could potentially use some of that to get something.

Where is that excess? Pitching? We'll see how this unfolds, but at least there is something to actually talk and think about now...

UPDATE: The Phillies just signed Marlon Byrd to a 2yr/$16m deal. And he's 36 years old. And was suspended for testing positive for PEDs. As TCB pointed out, acquiring a premier offensive outfielder through free agency just got a little more expensive.