Some things to talk about while we wait and wait and wait for the season to get going. Are people reporting yet? Any day now? ...
1) Erik Bedard signing reaction
Not going to weigh in one way or another yet on the Bedard signing, but I did have a reaction to it, based on another reaction to it. Astros County brings up a great point in this post about how we may be treating Ed Wade and Jeff Luhnow differently. I was considering just this very topic this weekend, as I stumbled across this piece from last summer asking if it were even possible to criticize the front office any more.
Judging by all the second guessing of the roster building Houston did this winter, it is VERY easy to still criticize the front office. There are some valid concerns about bottoming out the roster without signing any of the mid-market free agents out there who could have nudged that win total up a smidge next season. I'm not saying I'm doing said criticizing, but I think those that do have a fair and valid point.
And yes, I think that Wade would have brought in Bedard and acted like it was a huge, pennant-winning move. However, the thing we can't forget is that every GM has good moments and bad. The entirety of Wade's tenure with the Astros wasn't horrible. He made some good moves; he just made too many bad ones.
What if Bedard turns out like Brian Moehler, providing cheap and somewhat valuable innings for a team that doesn't want to rush youngsters to the majors? Would it be considered a win in that case?
Wade had a (justifiable) bad reputation by the end of his tenure and Luhow has a (somewhat) saintly image a year into his. AC's point, though, is well taken. Luhnow could easily make a Wade signing just like Wade could occasionally pull off a Luhnow waiver claim.
2) Dave Raymond is good at everything!
Dave Raymond may just swoop in here and take over TCB one day. Kick me out and do a much better job than I ever could. I'm officially on alert, because he was brilliant in a wide-ranging piece for Baseball Prospectus on the future of baseball radio.
I'd excerpt a piece of it, but you should really go read it in its entirety. It's worth it for the graphs, the stories and the humor. Like him opening with a classic Milo story that I REMEMBER LISTENING TO. I totally heard that game, totally heard them talking about this thermos for like an hour and a half and being mesmerized.
Add that to Zachary Levine's great article on FDR and baseball over there and Baseball Prospectus is just gobbling up all the Astros talent it can get. Which is cool, because we can still read them talk about baseball, but it's sad because they no longer discuss only the Astros.
For that, you're left with the glorious staff here at TCB, who Dave Raymond totally shouldn't come by and steal.
3) Delmon Young lands with Phillies
One of the final starting outfield possibilities left the market Tuesday when former Tiger Delmon Young signed a one-year deal with the Phillies. The contract is apparently worth $750,000 but could be worth up to $3.2 million with incentives included. Basically, Young has to hit and play right field for this to work.
First of all, I'm okay with Young not ending up on the Astros. I've been thinking about this more and more, and I'm cool with Ankiel over many of the other lower tier options. What? Houston was going to get a Young or Vernon Wells to play in the outfield? What are the chances those guys hit any better than either of the Martinii?
Secondly, what does this say about the Phillies and Dom Brown? He's blocked, yet again, by an older player. Should Luhnow and Co. be looking to pick up Brown on the cheap and add him to the outfield mix? Would you trade a Jonathan Villar for Brown during spring training?
It's a curious move for the Phillies, and I'm kinda glad the Astros avoided making it.