By now I'm sure we've all read Jim Crane's comments about the payroll getting to 50-60 million for 2014. Not to get all Debbie downer, but I don't see it.
It's hard for me to imagine a free agent choosing Houston over other teams when they know the club is bad and there is a really good chance that they’re going to get traded mid-season if they’re having a decent year.
I really wonder why any significant free agents will want to sign with Houston unless a.) they have ties to Houston b.) the Astros significantly overpay.
Think about the significant free agents that have signed over the last 10ish years. All had ties to Houston in some way (Kent and Lee had their ranches in Texas, Pettitte, Clemens, Woody Williams were from Houston). Those are the significant ones I can think of off the top of my head although I probably missed a few guys that didn't have Houston ties.
I can see some stopgap signings like this past year with Pena, Veras and Ankiel, maybe even a bigger name guy coming off an injury or suspension (Nelson Cruz?). But it’s hard for me to see a multi-year, 10+ million contract for someone, so I’m having a hard time seeing how the payroll is going to get to 50-60 million.