1) Alan Ashby returning?
This weekend, we got some news from Toronto (courtesy of Astros County) that former Astros catcher and radio broadcaster Alan Ashby may be considering a return to Houston. Or, there was speculation that he might be interested in the opening. Or something.
What's also not clear is if Bob Elliot was referring to the openings in Houston's radio booth or its TV booth. I think Ashby would be a good fit in either, and I always liked his style when he was the color guy with Milo. He wasn't afraid to be critical of the team, and I think that's an important component of the next hire. They can't be afraid to call the team out now and again.
If, somehow, Houston ended up with Alan Ashby and Larry Dierker both back covering games, I'd be pretty happy. What about you? Do any of you have fond Ashby memories? Would you like to see a return?
2) Houston's salary is VEEEERY small
AC also had a post talking about how small the Houston payroll will be compared to the New York Yankees. Basically, it'll be a tenth of the Bronx Bombers, but with the Dodgers signing Zach Greinke, it raises L.A.'s payroll to $233 million.
Houston's currently sits at $800k.
That's just 29,000 percent less than the Dodgers. When the Houston payroll gets up to its expected $30 million level for this season, that'll bring that number down considerably, but it's still going to be nearly 700 percent less than the Dodgers.
3) Rangers out in the cold?
They lost out on Zach Greinke. They lost out on James Shields. What's left for the Rangers?
Well, it appears our enemies to the north will try to load up on every other player they can. There's talk that they may re-sign Josh Hamilton. There's talk they may push through the Justin Upton trade. They may go after Michael Bourn, Anibal Sanchez or any number of other players.
But, what if they don't get anything? How much will the Rangers be hurt if they stand pat? It almost seems like they may be better off not making these moves. They need to replace Josh Hamilton's offense, but adding Mike Olt may replace some of that offense, right?
Plus, they'd lose draft picks if they have to sign too many big-ticket free agents, which hurts the team down the road. In an Upton trade, they also would have to give up either Andrus or Profar.
I guess the question is are the Rangers good enough to contend without making a splashy move or can they still win the AL West with the team they have now?