Sunday, November 20, 2016

Singleton out, Sunday Links

Good morning, reader. I was at a conference for the last three days with a broken phone and spotty wifi which, as I slowly found out, was the worst possible three days to be without a phone or solid wifi. Thanks to the Masked Marvel from coming out of semi-retirement to write up the McCann/Reddick deals.

*Later today we'll take a look at the pitchers the Astros gave up for Brian McCann.

*The Astros placed Jon Singleton on outright waivers, clearing some room on the 40-Man Roster. If you remember Singleton signed that 5yr/$10m contract before he made it to the Majors in a process that Luhnow was hoping would mean the Astros got a middle-of-the-order slugger at $2m/year. It was low-risk/high-reward. The Astros still owe Singleton $4m over the next two seasons with a $500,000 buyout in 2019.

Singleton's career in Houston obviously did not pan out how either intended. Though he hit a homer in his first MLB game, Singleton finished his rookie season with a .168/.285/.335 slash line. He struck out 134 times in 362 PAs. That was essentially his shot. Singleton only played 19 games in Houston 2015 (.191/.328/.298) and did not see any action in 2016 despite the Astros' notable struggles at 1B, even in September.

And so the Hunter Pence trade era comes to an end. Jarred Cosart was traded to Miami in 2014 in the Marisnick/Moran deal after going 10-8 in parts of two seasons with the Astros. Cosart is now in the Padres' organization. Domingo Santana was traded to Milwaukee in the Gomez/Fiers deal and is coming off a .256/.345/.447 season for the Brewers in 77 games. Josh Zeid was placed on waivers in November 2014 and has spent time in the Angels and Mets organizations. And that's that. Maybe prospects aren't the greatest thing in the world.

*Brian McCann's favorite memory came against the Astros when he hit a homer off Roger Clemens in Game 2 of the 2005 NLDS in his first career postseason AB. John Smoltz says McCann will bring that Leadership intangible to the Astros. Smoltz:
I just think he's going to be relieved to know that he's going to be the guy and it's going to be a team that he can have his fingerprints on a little more. 

*Ken Rosenthal writes that the Astros' acquisitions of Brian McCann and Josh Reddick does not necessarily mean that they're out on the pursuit of Carlos Beltran, or perhaps even Chris Sale (who is seemingly available) or Chris Archer. The likeliest alignment, it seems, is Springer in CF, Reddick in RF, and a Marisnick/Aoki platoon in LF. The addition of Beltran would take ABs away from the platoon situation.

*OR the Astros could simply not offer a contract for 2017 for Nori Aoki.

*Brian McTaggart says the Astros may not want to break up their core by trading Bregman for someone like Archer or Sale.

*Brian T. Smith has a column about the momentous day the Astros decided to go all in. Smith:
Thanks to one of the best young cores in the game...the Astros don't "have" to win the whole thing in 2017. But they must stop finishing in second (or third) place. 

We need to do the best job possible to give our players and our fans a chance to win a championship, and that's what we've been doing. We've been pursuing that aggressively, and I think our fans are going to see the results of that starting this year on the field. 

*Luhnow told Fanrag's John Perrotto:
We feel like we're going to be in contention every year for the foreseeable future. The reality is that every season is going to turn out differently than you expect.

*The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo says the Astros are possible destinations for Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, or Evan Longoria.

*Baseball America released their Top 10 Astros prospects list. Click the link for the write-up, here's the list:
1. Francis Martes
2. Kyle Tucker
3. David Paulino
4. Franklin Perez
5. A.J. Reed
6. Forrest Whitley
7. Teoscar Hernandez
8. Yulieski Gurriel (remember he still qualifies as a rookie, missing the cut-off by one AB)
9. Derek Fisher
10. Garrett Stubbs

*Check out Aubrey Huff - AUBREY HUFF! - throwing shade at Josh Reddick: