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Decision '08: Astros Arbitration Offers (or lack thereof)

****UPDATE 2:00PM**** I finally got around to reading the Chronicles piece about our non-offers.  This Ed Wade quote will forever drive me nuts:

While securing additional draft picks is very attractive, we have to balance that with the possibility that the players may have accepted the offer to arbitrate. At this time, the overall player payroll picture carries too much uncertainty to run that risk.

Here's what I don't understand: If Randy Wolf can't be signed by us for a normal deal because his market value is too high for our inflexible payroll, what possible motivation could he have to accept the Astros arbitration?  The man is apparently courting multi-year deals for beaucoup dollar bills, why is he going to accept a one year deal that has the propensity to pay him way under his market value?!?!  If draft picks are too valuable to lose via FA signings, why wouldn't we take this incredible NON-risk on Wolf to get the compensation pick?

Does this make sense to anyone?  I can see the risk Brocail represents if our payroll really is as tight as they're making it out to be...but...I...just...can't...understand Randy Wolf not getting an arbitration offer.

****UPDATE 12:40PM**** I still can't figure out the logic behind not offering arbtration to Wolf or Brocail and I probably never will.  To add to my complete and utter despair about the 2009 Astros:

The Astros will not give up draft picks in order to sign a Type A free agent, so don't look for them to pursue any players of that magnitude who were offered arbitration by their original teams.

If we're so concerned about losing draft picks, why on earth didn't we attempt to gain a few?!



****UPDATE 10:54AM**** Morning all, The Astros offered no on arbitration. I'm both confused and angered.

Seemingly, the risk of Wolf accepting the offer wouldn't have been terribly costly. Had he accepted, the Astros would have had to commit only one year to the veteran left-hander, and while his salary would have probably reached upwards of $10 million, the club wouldn't have been burdened with a long-term deal.

But in the end, Wade decided the financial risk was too great to take that chance.

"We don't know what landscape is out there with regard to offers from other clubs he might get," Wade said. "We thought long and hard about this one."



This is inexcusably dumb.  And I'm to groggy for anything else.

****UPDATE 9:36AM****MLBTraderumors reports that the Astros declined to offer Randy Wolf arbitration. Still no source cited..

****UPDATE 1:25AM**** MLBTradeRumors is reporting that Wolf doesn't get offered arb, but has nothing on Brocail -- no source for the Wolf report either.

****UPDATE 1:14AM**** The Astros won't make the announcement until sometime tomorrow (later today).  I however can't believe this from Footer's announcement, though:

As recently as a week ago, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that the club would offer Wolf arbitration, but now the Astros may have changed their stance. Wolf, a Type B free agent, would net the club a compensation pick between the first and second rounds of next year's Draft should he reject the offer and sign elsewhere. Offering him arbitration would seem to make sense because if he accepted, the Astros would have to commit only one year to the veteran left-hander.

But the addition of Mike Hampton to the starting staff, assuming he passes his physical Tuesday, may affect the Astros' interest in Wolf. At first glance, it would appear Hampton's deal -- a low-base, incentive-laden contract that protects the club against chronic injury issues that have hampered him for several years -- has nothing to do with Wolf, who is four years younger than Hampton and is seemingly past his prior injury issues.


Do what? I still don't see how Hampton prevents an arbitration offer to all.

This quote was just frustrating

The club also appeared to be leaning toward not offering arbitration to Brocail, who is a Type A free agent and would bring in two Draft picks should he reject the offer. But Brocail, who had a solid year as the Astros' setup man in 2008, would likely make a bundle in arbitration -- probably more than Brocail's $3.25 million '09 option, which the Astros declined.

Would he really make that much? And isn't the risk of two compensation picks to a talent starved farm system worth it? I thought that was the calculus behind not picking up his option in the first place??

I just need to get back to school.  Thinking about this is just making me woozy.

****UPDATE 12:30 AM**** No word on the arbitration front. I'll be up for awhile and checking for updates obsessively will ensure that.

I figured I'd throw up this thread now and allow speculation about who we offer arbitration too, and eventually react to who we sign.  Also feel free to react to the arbitration decisions of other teams (Sheets got an offer, Adam Dunn did not!!).