How to make the Astros a playoff team in 2012

This fanposts is to Mr. Wade, or whichever person that runs the Astros front office.

Well I said I'd make a post on how to make the Astros much better in 2012 so I might as well do it now.

Ok, so if we look at our current players, we have a decent roster with some very good players in Hunter Pence and Michael Bourne. Contrary to what you might think, the Astros are not very far from becoming a competitive ball club. Only trading a couple of players for young, talented prospects and aquiring 1 to 2 free agents is all it will take to make the Astros into a great team.

First off, I'll look at the outfield. Right field and center field are held down solidly by Bourne and Pence, but left field has been a major disappointment the past 2 years for Carlos Lee. He isn't a great defender, but his offensive production offset that during his first few years in Houston. Now, he is lacking in power, batting average, and runs batted in. The best case scenario is too trade Carlos Lee to a team in need of an outfielder, a first baseman, or a designated hitter. Hopefully he will start playing significantly better to help increase his trade stock. If it takes paying off a lot of his contract, then we should do so. I'm not sure how much we can get in return, but I think it's about time that we need a new left fielder.

This is where the first free agent comes in. He's a little known outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals who is tearing it up with a .308 batting average, 17 homeruns, and 51 RBI's. And the season is not even halfway over yet. Berkman would be a great replacement in left field for Lee, which was Lance's original position with the Astros.

The infield will stay about the same, although I'd rather improve at second base and short stop. As Brett Wallace gains more experience, hopefully he will gain more power too. He has a great batting average right now at .303, but he only has 4 homeruns and 21 RBI's. At 3rd base, Chis Johnson needs to be more consistent. If he can return to his form in 2010, then we should be fine there.

At catcher, Jason Castro is a stud defensively. We also have a solid backup in Humberto Quintero. This position will stay the same.

Next is the pitching staff. Bud Norris has shined lately and looks like he will continue to do so. The 20 year old Jordan Lyles has impressed and done well since he was called up from the minor leagues. Wandy Rodriguez has been on a roll and is one of our best pitchers. After these three guys, it doesn't seem like we have much. The other player that I would like to trade away is Brett Myers. He just threw a complete game while giving up 2 runs, 1 earned in the victory. We need to continue getting qualtiy starts from him in order to raise his trade value as well. A suitable trading partner would be a playoff team in need of pitching. Maybe a team like the Brewers who have a strong offense while sometimes lacking on pitching. Getting a quality pitching prospect in return is important. The guy I'm thinking of is, of course, Jed Bradley. Once again, if it takes paying off a lot of Brett Myers contract, then you need to do it. The last pitcher would be J. A. Happ, but he has struggled a lot this year. We will need him to improve to solidify the pitching staff. Otherwise, we could bring in the second free agent that I mentioned.

Now on to the bullpen. This unit has struggled this year, but injuries and a lack of a closer are all that is limiting it. All we need is consistently better pitching and to find that closer somewhere in our ranks and the bullpen will be fine.

Overall, we'd have an above average outfield, an average infield, a slightly above average batting lineup, and an average to slightly above average pitching staff. This team would be much more competitive next year and in the future with these players.

I left out the best part for last, which is the possible 2nd free agent addition. Our pitching staff would have a few good starters but it still would lack a true ace. The player I am referring to is Roy Oswalt. His addition to the Astros would make our pitching staff very good and also give the Astros a chance to be playoff contenders. His contract with Philadelphia is up this year so he will be available to the Astros in free agency this offseason. Roy is still pitching at a very high level and is one of the best pitchers in the major leagues when he is on.

Don't discount Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt just because they are former Astros. Both of these guys are still top notch players and ideal choices for this teams needs. Thank you for reading this a feel free to comment.

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