I'm not entirely sure how accurate this is, but this might be the first ever Astros County blog post to ever have been posted from our nation's capital. I just woke up from a pleasant afternoon nap that eradicated this wicked headache that I was battling all afternoon, so for the first time today I feel physically ready to break the news to you that the Astros did not sign Nelson Cruz. Yayyyyyy..
But don't worry folks, not are the Hot Links are this dreadfully sad. I got some good ones to bring to you too!
While we're talking about Astros offseason moves, Climbing Tal's Hill published a piece grading the Astros moves so far. Since there aren't a whole lot of Hot Links again today, I might as well also write an actual opinion piece which is something I think I was brought onto the team in the first place for (please also keep in mind I am a biased idiot).
Robinson Chirinos - Chirinos is the old man, no-average, high power, strong-armed catcher we were hoping 2018 Brian McCann would end up being. While I don't mind the signing, I hope it's more of a fallback plan in case the Max Stassi Experiment flops in 2019 because he is the main catcher that I want to see. I think I got officially burnt out on nausea-inducing BABIP scores in 2015 so when I see Chirinos' stat line, it makes me sad. Nevertheless, I don't mind the signing and I personally don't mind riding with Stassi instead of trading for Realmuto or shelling out cash for a Grandal. Grade: B
Aledmys Diaz - This one sucks a little bit because I don't even want to think about having to replace my favorite Houston Astro of all time, but I have to. This trade pretty much solidified that Houston's Hero is not coming back. However, we got Diaz for what I understand to be a steal. I'm no prospect man, but the guy we traded has a career minor league ERA of 4.23, so I don't mind this deal at all either. His consistent statistical numbers are eerily similar to Marwin's and he can play multiple positions, which takes away the pain a little bit and it makes me honestly okay with what has transpired this offseason. Although when I saw him in Toronto this summer he ONLY went 1-3 so he's gonna have to do a lot more to firmly woo this old codger over to his side. Marwin if you're reading this please come back. Grade: B+
Michael Brantley - As yes, The Big One. Our cornerstone move of the 2018-2019 offseason. We all know what this guy is all about. Can't stay healthy but when he does he is an All-Star. Decided not to spend money and take a risk with the new outfielder. All that. I like the signing. Again, this is a signing I like. I don't like his unhealthy past per se but looking at it from a wider scope the good free agent outfielders save Bryce Harper are quite injury-riddled (Brantley, Pollock, CarGo etc). I mean, you could have gone McCutchen in theory but are you going to pay Cutch 3 yrs. 50 Mil or Brantley for 2-32? This signing also makes me think of the Charlie Morton contract. "but he can't stay healthy" "but he's in the back end of his career!" they said. Obviously these two situations are completely independent of each other, but I have decided to completely disregard trades for injury purposes thanks to the fact he might, you know, stay healthy. This is an upgrade, and he is better than Kemp, Tucker (for now), and Marisnick. It isn't flashy, but it should get the job done and ease Tucker into the position. Grade: A
Packaging all three moves into one overarching theme, it seems as if he are replacing players and not necessarily upgrading the positions but maintaining them. We replaced McCann with McCann 2 (didn't get better), we replaced Marwin with Marwin 2 (didn't get better), and we replaced Marwin/Kemp/Jake with Michael Brantley (better). Will this be good enough? Honestly, I have no idea. It was in 2017 and not in 2018. Only time will tell and it isn't over yet. Still plenty of time for moves.
Oh yeah, Hot Links.
Hey speaking of the outfield situation, CTH also did a thing about that!
FanGraphs dropped their 2019 Steamer projections for the Houston Astros baseball club.
Is Dallas Keuchel the starting pitcher signing to make?
Or is it a man by the name of Marcus Stroman?
I would have never thought we would see the day, but MULTIPLE bloggers like Tony Sipp and want them on their teams?
HOF BALLOT UPDATE: There are 8 players who have put on a Houston Astros uniform on the ballot this year. 0 of them are in with 29% reporting but Clemens is currently sitting at a 73.7%.
If you are looking for some deep reading and like The Future, @AstrosFuture has composed many Astros MiLB reviews available for your viewing pleasure. I'll start you off on the starting pitchers but the rest can be found in the article.
Here it is. The annual "somebody won the lottery but some idiot is going to forget to cash it in" article.
THIS MAN HAS STREAKED AT 568 EVENTS IN HIS LIFE AND STILL IS ALLOWED TO WATCH SPORTS IN STADIUMS.