We’ll start with the financial situation for the Astros.
Now that we have painted a pretty picture; lets remember that Mr. Crane and his investors have over 600 million "reasons" to cut expenses (meaning payroll) in the coming season(s).
A cut in current payroll expense in 2012 (moving Wandy, Myers and Lee) should mean that the Astros will be able to and should be willing to do whatever it takes to sign as many draft picks in the 2012 draft as possible; specifically the #1 overall. In the recent past few years; the Astros have done well in signing their top draft picks. In the past….well lets just hope that the past doesn't repeat itself. It hasn't always been very good. They also must find a way to get players to the majors sooner than their 27th birthday. A bit facetious but you get the point.
Did you know during the McLane era; the Astros drafted Johnny Estrada (1994), Aaron Miles (1995), Eric Byrnes (1997), Michael Bourn (2000), Scott Feldman (2002), Drew Stubbs (2003), Ben Zobrist & Drew Sutton (2004) and only Bourn and Lofton ever played a game for the Astros. Most were never signed. It wasn’t the first time it had happened to the Astros: Scott Erickson (1987) Kenny Lofton (1988), Jason Varitek (1990). Some were signed and moved in trades which didn’t exactly work out; while others went to other teams in later drafts.
Point being; if the Astros (Crane & Associates) are serious about building a winner they must not only draft well and sign their picks; they must develop players, move players up quickly and get them to the majors quicker than Drayton and his group did.