FanPost

If I were Ed Wade: a 2012 Scenario



This is a long post, but I'm bored.  When your best player and the face of your franchise publicly asks to be traded, delaying the re-building phase ceases to be an option.  So now that it is official that the 'stros will be rebuilding soon, how should they go about it, and how soon can they expect to be competitive again?  After looking at future payroll, listening to Roy O's interview, and looking at who is in the farm, once scenario I came up with is this: what if Roy and Lance were able to build their own 2012 contender in Houston by getting traded this year and playing 2011 elsewhere?

Assumptions:

1. Any trade involving Roy Oswalt nets a near-MLB-ready frontline starter.

2. Houston continues to offer arbitration to all eligible players.

3. Drayton keeps the astros and maintains (or slightly increases) payroll each year.

What I'd do in 2010:

-Trade Roy for a MLB top 100 SP prospect currently playing at AA or higher (as the centerpiece, surely he can net 2-3 other prospects as well).

-Trade Berkman, Myers, and Feliz hoping to net 1 above average everyday position player.  You could package Lance or Myers with some of our C grade prospects to get a B or B+ prospect.

-That would end this season with the following roster:

C Castro

1B Blum

2B Keppinger

SS Manzo

3B Johnson

RF Pence

CF Bourn

LF Lee

Bench: Michaels, Sullivan, Q, Navarro, Maysonet/etc.

Rotation: Wandy, Norris, Paulino, Moehler, call-up (Wright/Banks/etc.)

Bullpen: Lindstrom, Lyon, Sampson, Fulchino, Gervacio, Lopez, Byrdak/Chacin

That roster is obviously horrible and easily the worst in baseball, but this season is a goner anyway.  The only free agent on that roster is Michaels, who is easily replaceable. Committed payroll (factoring in arbitration for everyone) is around $80M, giving you ~$20M to spend.

In 2011, you spend your available payroll on 1 year deals for solid veterans in order to be only moderately horrible.  By the end of next season, the roster would look like this:

C Castro

1B Veteran signed on 1 year, ~$5M deal.

2B Prospect acquired via Berkman/Myers/Feliz

SS Manzo

3B Johnson

RF Pence

CF Bourn

LF Lee

Bench: Keppinger, Q, Blum, 2 callup/veteran OFers (Bogusevic, Shuck, etc.)

Rotation: Wandy, Norris, Paulino, Lyles, Prospect aqcuired for Oswalt

Bullpen: Lindstrom, Lyon, Sampson, Fulchino, Gervacio, Lopez, Byrdak/Chacin

Based solely on the improvement of the young guys, that roster is improved from this year.  Plus, you've got a fully re-stocked farm and $15M in payroll flexibility in case you want to feign competitiveness or in case by some miracle you actually are competitive at the deadline, you can add a difference maker.  The only impending free agent on that list would be your 1B and Wandy, both of whom could be traded to net prospects in the event you have another bad season (which would be likely).

But, then comes 2012.  Berkman and Oswalt are both free agents.  They sign for their current market value.  This is what your 2012 roster looks like:

C Castro

1B Berkman- in his motivated, final career year.

2B Prospect netted via Berkman/Feliz/Myers

SS Manzo

3B Johnson

RF Pence

CF Bourn

LF Lee

Bench: Keppinger, Q, Bogusevic, callup, callup

That offense has some questions, but assuming Berkman signs for under $10M, the total committed payroll for that team is only around $40M factoring in arbitration raises.  If Manzella or Johnson don't pan out, there should be plenty of $ left to make a move.

Rotation: Oswalt, Lyles, Prospect received for Oswalt, Norris, Paulino

That rotation would probably be among the better groups in the league, and it's assuming that the farm doesn't produce any starters other than Lyles.  Surely one out of Wright, Trinidad, Perez, Arguello, Abad, etc. will be ready by then.

Bullpen: Lindstrom, Lyon, Sampson, Fulchino, Gervacio, LOOGY, callup

That bullpen is strong, and the farm is likely to produce at least 2 quality relievers between now and then (look at the guys in Corpus- Meszaros, Lo, Villar, Wabick, etc.).  Assuming Oswalt signs for $10-12M and factoring in arbitration raises, the cost of that pitching staff is around $35M, leaving plenty of $ to make moves.  Above all, imagine the excitement generated from Roy and Lance coming back to play together in Houston for their final year.

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