Here's a few things I would like to see Mr. Crane do when he takes control not necessarily in this order:
- Move Carlos Lee out or to a pinch hitting role with spot starts at 1st to spell Wallace. I fully understand that a trade would require the Astros picking up the majority of the remaining money on the contract but I think it is something that should be explored.
- Trade Wandy. Two fold reason here. Age and current value. Please don't misunderstand me; I like Wandy a lot. But; let's be realistic, he'll be in his 30's when the Astros are getting good and they're closer to 2 years away from being a contender than 1 year. You can get value for him now and the Astros should try to get as many "prospects" as they can while they can.
- Trade Brett Meyers. Ed Wade and Drayton have once again hurt the organizations ability to move a good player by over paying. The 11+ million owed to Meyers next year (based on one good year) will make a trade difficult but; as with Lee, it can be done.
- Trade Barmes. Not a lot of money but he's still a viable SS for some team in need. We can use Sanchez at SS until one of the youngsters are closer to being ready; possibly next year.
- Bring up Andy Van Hekken (SP), Sergio Perez (SP), Wladimir Sutil (SS) and Brandon Barnes(LF) and see what you've got. Even if they are terribly over matched it will give the Astrosa chance to see these players at the MLB level. It will also force the Astros to move guys up to AAA like JD Martinez and Jose Altuve to get them through the system and to the majors quicker.
Those are my 5; not necessarily in order of importance.
I believe the everyday core players such as Bourn, Pence, Bourgeois (who should be the everyday LF), Wallace, Norris and Lyles give us hope of a very bright future. But this year should be about what the future holds and seeing that on the field...win/lose record does not matter. Imagine with me how fun even 2012 could be if Mr. Crane finds a big thumper of a 3rd baseman or LF to put with the parts in place and they figure out the bullpen problems. Winning is not as far off as we might think. It's never wrong to dream big. but lets focus on 2012 and beyond.