FanPost

Crane to set payroll at $60M (allegedly)

Via MLBTR. If this is the number moving forward, Astros fans are in for a rough stretch. I don't think a $60M payroll can make for a sustained winner. One thing it made me think is that the $60M rumor increases the likelihood of Wade taking a lower offer just to shed payroll, which increases the number of trades likely to be made this deadline. Let's break it down.



Let's assume that one of Wandy/Myers is traded this deadline. Let's assume Pence is retained, but Bourn is jettisoned.
C Castro ($400k)
1B Wallace ($400k)
2B Downs ($400k)
SS ?
3B Johnson ($400k)
RF Pence ($10M)
CF Bourgeois ($400k)
LF Lee ($18M)
Bench: Sanchez ($400k), Quintero ($1m), Bench IF ($400k), Bench OF ($400k), Bench OF ($400k) Rotation: Wandy/Myers ($11M), Norris ($400k), Lyles ($400k), Happ ($400k), Aneury ($400k) Bullpen: All league minimum outside of Lyon ($5M)

That's around $55M without a SS. That's also a horrible team; probably worse than this year's squad.

I suppose it's just as well. Next year's team wasn't going to be a contender, but I was hoping for improvement over this season. But I'm much more concerned about the $60M setting the bar for future payrolls. If Crane and Co. are only waiting to spend their money until they are ready to compete, meaning the 2014 payroll could be $100M+, I'm on board. But if Houston is expecting to be another Tampa Bay, it will seriously temper my fandom. While I respect TB for making the most of their limited means, I don't think Houston needs to be that type of franchise. There's no reason, given the size of the HOuston media market, that the Astros' payroll should ever rank in the bottom half of the league.

Hopefully, either the rumor is untrue or is just Crane trying to start with a clean slate. Hopefully, Wade will win the upcoming deadline deals and receive a new foundation to build on. But I for one certainly took that rumor as a very bad sign. Thoughts?
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