According to The Sports Network, Ed Wade has opted to decline Brocail's 2009 option of $3.25 million dollars. My gut reaction is that is a saavy move on Wade's part. Brocail, who will be 42 next year, demonstrated that he can be tough as nails if not overworked, but given the Astros scarcity of starting pitching depth, Brocail probably does not have that option in 2009. As a Type A Free Agent, the Astros likely move will be to offer the veteran arbitration which could then lead to the Astros receiving a highly valuable compensation pick after the first round of 2009's draft. While the article indicates the Wade and Brocail have expressed mutual interest in each other, it's hard for me to imagine Brocail taking a discount in Houston when he could get paid a premium as a member of someone like the Brewers or the Mets, who are desperate to stabilize their bull pens
The move, to me, signals that the Ed Wade is going to be another busy man this winter, something that excites me greatly. There is a lot of work to be done to improve the quality of this team at both the major league and minor league levels. I trust Ed Wade to find an adequate solution to losing Cecil Cooper's automatic 8th inning man and construct a solid bull pen. In fact, I don't even know that he'll have to shop around given that a Geary with a healthy groin or the LaTroy Hawkins of the second half represent equal or great value than Brocail. If Brocail walks to find greener pastures, then the compensation pick allows he and Bobby Heck to still draft a top tier prospect even if we land a Type A SP -- something that is imperative for the Astros this offseason.
I like where Ed Wade's head is at and I like how this move can set in motion a whole host of other moves that will make the 2009 Astros far more stable than their 2008 version. Hot stove season has begun in Houston. Make sure you stay tuned to the CFB for all the news and analysis as Ed Wade gets to doing what he does best -- make a lot of moves.