Some things to talk about as we start the week of rebranding...
1) Logo leaks, secrets and the Astros
It's not surprising that the new Astros logo and uniforms have leaked out by now. I mean, the Marlins had their new scheme leak out before the official launch last year. What is unusual is how complete the leaks have been.
At this point, after the iPhone case, the logos from Topps and the merchandise from Academy, what's left to reveal this Friday? I guess you've got the uniforms themselves, which have only been sort of leaked on that picture announcing the launch. We still have the road unis, I guess, and maybe an alternate on Sundays to reveal.
What I'm wondering about is what their expectations were on the launch. This new group has really tried to keep information locked down, but that's also been the baseball side. The marketing side may like these leaks, because it builds the story over a longer period of time. Do you really think Houston would be getting this much play for the entire week leading up to the launch if this hadn't happened?
I'm not saying they did any of this intentionally, but that they're not bummed out it leaked.
Tim did an excellent job this weekend keeping track of all the story angles, and you can keep track of it all here.
2) Houston claims OF from Boston
We've already mentioned this, but it's worth discussing again. Houston added a new outfielder to the mix in Boston's Che-Hsuan Lin, while designating Enerio Del Rosario for assignment. What does all this mean?
Not much, yet. I don't believe that Lin will be in the mix to start necessarily, as I'm pretty confident Houston will be going after at least one outfielder to be a starter on next year's team. Lin does continue the trend of Houston picking up high walk rate guys who also have good defensive reputations.
While Houston had to let go of EDR in the process, he hadn't been as effective as they hoped when he was plucked off waivers two years ago. EDR was always going to be a low strikeout guy who relied on a high ground ball rate. That combination can work for relievers, but it's harder to sustain success that way.
3) World Series-winning free agents
The Giants and Hunter Pence won the World Series last night, sweeping the Tigers out of the series. Pence marks the second former Astro star to get a ring in the last two years. But, more importantly, it also marks the beginning of the offseason, which means we can continue to wildly speculate on which players Houston may go after in free agency.
From the World Series winners, there are a couple of options on who Houston may want to sign this offseason. The first, whom we've discussed before, is Melky Cabrera. The thinking there, which Sean first brought up on the podcast, is that Cabrera could be had pretty cheaply because of his suspension. He'd help out in the outfield on a one-year deal and provide value without requiring a big commitment.
Marco Scutaro may also be a name to watch, though it seems likely that Houston would only pursue him if the Astros decided to do something else with Jed Lowrie and there's no guarantee of that right now.
Aubrey Huff also makes an interesting option, especially as a designated hitter candidate. He's older and could be had on a smaller deal. Of course, he hasn't hit in a couple of years and would be going back to a tougher league.
Anyone else off the Giants roster who makes sense in free agency? Were you glad to see Pence get a ring?