Wednesday's Three Astros Things

Talking about more transition, Comcast and the Astros and one-year deals for pitchers...

Some things to talk about while I try not to make this a once-a-week proposition...

1) More transition

So...you may have noticed I've been absent from the site again. It's because I once again moved cross country, a month after doing it the first time.

Two weeks after starting the job up in Cleveland, I got an offer to work outside of Houston for the Fort Bend Herald. Though it's a smaller paper, I'll be much closer to all my family and will get to regularly cover the Astros (as I did two years ago).

What it means to you, dear reader, is that things have been in flux on the site. It may continue for a little longer, as I settle into the new job and figure out the new schedule. Bear with us. Maybe by the time the playoffs end, the Astros will finally do something and we can have more to talk about.

2) Latest Comcast mess

Hey, the Astros are doing something! They're just fighting with Comcast in court.

Things are getting ugly in this case fast, as the Astros accused Comcast of trying to force them out through the bankruptcy.

The Astros on Tuesday accused Comcast of using bankruptcy proceeds as a "smokescreen" for its plans to cheat the ballclub out of its ownership share in Comcast SportsNet Houston and Comcast.

The accusation is included in the Astros’ 32-page motion, filed on Tuesday with U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marvin Isgur, in opposition to requests by four Comcast affiliates’ that Isgur name a trustee to oversee, Houston Regional Sports Network, the Astros-Rockets-Comcast partnership that is the parent company of CSN Houston.

Isgur has set an Oct. 28 hearing to rule on the Comcast motion for a trustee and on the Astros’ motion to dismiss the involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Comcast was scheduled on Tuesday to file its response to the Astros’ motion to dismiss.

What David Barron does so well is explain the legal ramifications for things like this in terms that people like me can understand. This whole article is fascinating for many reasons, but this back-and-forth between the Astros and Comcast is pretty surprising.

I also wonder why the Rockets are staying out of this. Will the Astros and Rockets continue to have a media partnership if Comcast fails?

3) One-year contract pitchers

Lastly, here's a question for the crowd: if the Astros really are going to increase payroll, they may focus on many different positions. One way to go, though, is to add a free agent starting pitcher on a one-year contract.

Those one-year contracts sort of come in two different varieties. The first is for the grizzled veteran who's made his money and is now just looking for another year of glory/big money. A perfect example of that guy on this market is Tim Hudson. He would bring some much-needed experience to Houston's rotation and locker room while not tying the team up long-term.

The other type of one-year deal is for the injured pitcher trying to prove he still has it. Ben Sheets is a good example of that as is Dan Haren. This year's market features an intriguing name in that same vein, Toronto's Josh Johnson. He still has elite velocity, but injuries and poor results sabotaged his 2013 campaign.

Neither would be locks to sign in Houston, as Hudson probably wants to pitch for a playoff contender and Johnson seems to like the situation in Toronto. But, let's say Houston plops $12-15 million on the table for them on a one-year deal. Does that persuade them?

More to the point, which of those types of players fits Houston's rebuilding plan? Do they want the veteran presence to help the young guys or do they want a lottery ticket who could be turned into more prospects at the deadline? Or, does Johnson's young age mean he could be a viable part of the next Astros contender, assuming he stays healthy?

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