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The Astros and Arbitration: Judgement of...

Forget Super Tuesday or the Tuesday after the first Monday in November this is the day that MLB GM's will finally come to a decision as to whom they will tender offers of arbitration.  This very well could be as big as the Hot Stove gets for us—sadly.  The paucity of meaningful news in the Astros Hot Stove is belied by the fact that they're a franchise over the coals.  Too much money tied up in too few...oh, you've heard this before—sorry.

The Astros could potentially walk away from today with a bevy of 1st Round draft picks for Bobby Heck and co. to work their magic on next June.  The other possibility is that the Astros repeat their typical behavior, totally avoid risk, and don't tender a signal arbitration offer (something will result in either a broken Blackberry Tour or MacBook).

Luckily, as Astros Andy so masterfully explains in the post below this one, there's at least one sure fire arbitration offer that will be tendered tonight before 11PM ET (Jose Valverde).*  However, as low risk of an arbitration offer as LaTroy Hawkins is, if you're Ed Wade and you haven't sold this to Drayton McLane, you probably need to reevaluate your credentials for the job of GM.  Just to make things interesting interms of Miguel Tejada's arbitration decision, Jon Heyman (who really has gotten off too easy for making such a ridiculous stink of the NL Cy Young balloting), lists several interested teams for the aging SS; the Cardinals, Giants, Phillies, and Rangers.  Is there a more delectable lists of GM's Who are likely to overspend on an aging SS for absolutely no reason than he was once an MVP? Probably not.

In all seriousness, in a little more than 12 hours, we'll know where the Astros intend to take this organization in the near future.  Risk-aversion has it's place in places, but now is not the time for Drayton McLane to clam up and refuse to risk possible arbitration salaries for premium draft picks.

To get you through the day here the links I've assembled in thinking about this brief and semi-stream of consciousness post:

*Do I still think there's a legitimate possibility that we don't offer Valverde arbitration? Yes. Did I spin the sentence this references to make it seem like I didn't account for this in my calculus:? Yes. Sometimes being a fan of this team hurts in so many, many ways. Sometimes the only thing you can do to deal with the pain is lie to yourself.