Monday Morning Post-Meetings Link Fest

Have we all recovered? That was a hectic week as the Astros wheeled and dealed in Indianapolis. Houston came away with two relievers and a shiny new third baseman, while losing two prospects in trade and two more in the Rule V draft. Kudos to every contributor on TCB for covering all those moves during the Winter Meetings with both timeliness and depth of analysis. We all certainly have much to discuss between now and February when pitchers and catchers report. Until then, here's all the links fit to print from the past few days:

  • I know lots of stuff happened, but does baseball need the winter meetings? Dejan Kovasevic doesn't think so.
  • If you missed clack's excellent breakdown on the newest Astro Pedro Feliz and what to expect from him offensively, here it is. Look for some more analysis about Brandon Lyon from a Pitch f/x perspective later this week.
  • One of the biggest announcements out of Indy was that Peter Gammons is leaving ESPN for MLB Network and MLB.com. This is good news for all of us since keeping one of the best in the business around has to be a top priority. Whenever I write a story/column like this (roundup-style), I think about how Gammons pretty much invented it. Now that's influence. His final column is definitely worth reading.
  • Saturday was the deadline to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Houston offered contracts to all their eligible guys, but that was not the case with all the teams around the league. In fact, the Matt Capps-Pittsburgh saga turned out to be the most compelling storyline of the night. There was a long list of interesting guys that were released Saturday and Tim Dierkes over at MLBTradeRumors.com runs them down here.
  • Of course, the Astros have no need of a guy like Garrett Atkins anymore, but Ryan Church is available and needed on this roster. Another interesting guy is Ryan Garko, who is listed as a first baseman, but did play 12 games in the outfield last season and could be a good lefty matchup guy off the bench. Two of the guys on that list were re-signed by the Indians, so that list could dwindle quickly.
  • Here is an updated version of the 2010 Draft Order. Go ahead and bookmark this page, since it will be updated as more guys sign.
  • One bad sign for the Astros' 2010 draft hopes is this report from the Boston Globe implying that Jose Valverde may have priced himself out of the market. I am aghast that his agent thinks he can get 12-13 million for Valverde, or that Fernando Rodney asked for 30m over three years from the Astros. If you were incredulous after the Lyon signing, can you imagine the apoplectic shock if Rodney signed for that much? Sheesh.
  • FanGraphs' Dave Cameron on the marginal value of a win. The article is ostensibly about the Rays trading and paying Rafael Soriano, but Cameron name-drops the Astros to illustrate how silly it is to overpay for wins in their situation.
  • Another excellent read for anyone who is on this esteemed website. Print this out and refer to it every time you read an article on here. Especially mine, since I'm often wrong, as my wife always reminds me.
  • Did you ever want to ask Brad Mills five questions about the upcoming season? Well, hopefully they were these five questions. If not, you may or may not be out of luck.
  • The Harvard boys bring it again, breaking down the payroll efficiency of major league teams in 2009. Of course, the Astros fall into that bottom 15 category and really don't get a lot out of wins out of their large payroll. This isn't because they don't spend money, it's because they spend their money the wrong way (re: Lee, Carlos and Matsui, Kazuo).
  • Here's a roundup of the local bloggers and storymongers, as Brian McTaggart weighs in on what the 2010 roster could look like. Alyson Footer talks about many doings around the team, including Milo Hamilton winning yet another award. The picture Astros County had up the other day with Milo in a crown was priceless. Richie Justice likes the Feliz signing, but thinks the team will still give Chris Johnson a shot at the everyday job. I know the organization has high hopes for him, but I wish the local guys would stop touting Johnson. He's never shown good power, has a history of injuries and didn't hit much at Round Rock. Why should this guy get a shot at the starting job with the big league club? I'd rather see Mark Saccomanno there than Johnson.
  • Farmstros does a good job breaking down the Astros prospective Rule V selections next season. Jose Altuve is a really interesting addition to that list, since he had an excellent season in 2009, but hasn't played past Low A ball yet.
  • I wonder what Houston offers on the post-game buffet? Really, though, can these players be expected to give up full-sized candy bars? Where are we living, Communist Russia?
  • Finally, a little tidbit from Buster Olney's latest blog post sent me to this really neat website run by former MLB catcher Brent Mayne. The Art of Catching provides tips and tricks on playing one of the hardest to define defensive positions on the field. This is why I like being a baseball fan.
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