Some things to talk about while we wait for another trade to go down unexpectedly.
1) Recapping a whirlwind weekend - For those of you who took a three-day vacation to Corpus Christi, stuff went down with the Astros this weekend. Big stuff. Like:
- A ten team trade with Toronto that sent out J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter for seven other guys.
- Chris came up with possibly the greatest drawing in the history of TCB (that wasn't one of Tim's photoshops).
- That was Friday. Saturday, we got hit with another big trade, as Brett Myers was moved to Chicago for two minor leaguers and a PTBNL.
- Newly acquired Francisco Cordero was installed as closer after Myers' trade. He has not been good, really, since 2010. Regulators!
- Houston claimed Mark Hamburger off waivers. This is not a joke.
- Dallas Keuchel got called up, was promptly shelled by the Diamondbacks. It's okay, though, because the D'Backs did that to pretty much every Houston pitcher this weekend.
Whew...did you get all that? With Francisco Cordero coming off the books after the season, only Wandy Rodriguez is currently signed for over $1 million next season. That's the only bit of analysis we haven't hit on here, either in an article or in the comments. Next year's payroll could be considerably lower than the $60 million it was this year. It could also be close to the same, with Houston spending money in the winter.
2) The Franchise is fantastic - What does a reality series about the Miami Marlins have to do with Houston? Actually, quite a bit.
The first two episodes of this show have been great. The access is fantastic and it reminds me of Hard Knocks, HBO's training camp documentary series. But, this one shows some very interesting sides to teams. But, we're not here to just praise The Franchise for nothing.
See, there have been one Houston tie-in during each episode. The first time, in an hour-long episode to kick off the series' run this year, we see the Marlins' end of the Carlos Lee deal, complete with a phone call to him announcing the trade.
The thing that stuck out to me was how uncomfortable Lee seemed to be around the cameras. We didn't see any comments from him and no palling around with his new teammates. Of course, that's just two episodes and Lee just got picked up at the end of the first.
The second episode was structured around a story about Justin Ruggiano's resurgence. Obviously, that affects the Astros, since he was also traded to the Marlins from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He's gone all Josh Hamilton since then, and looked pretty cute with his wife and moppet walking around parks and such. Certainly didn't do any favors for that trade, but I'd expect no less from a former Aggie.
All in all, it hooked me a lot more than I expected it to. I didn't watch any of last year's show with the Giants, but I don't intend to make that mistake again.
3) Thoughts on Toronto's PTBNL - It was a little humorous when FanGraphs posted this article on the possible PTBNL guys in the Toronto deal. Why? Because I've seen two of them personally before they were drafted and the other is a Houston-area guy. Three local tie-ins for one spot? That's pretty lucky.
I saw Gabryzwski in a high school playoff game at Lamar last summer. His name is a bear to spell and would make a horrible addition with Mike Foltynewicz and Asher Wojciechowski, especially if they land in the same rotation eventually. He struck me then as a nice arm, with decent velocity and good pitchability. He won the only game of the series fro Crosby but wasn't unscathed.
Stilson is a classic projection guy who, like Bud Norris before him, profiles as a late-inning reliever by most. But, there's a good chance he could stick in a rotation, especially if his strikeout rate looks like it did in the Florida State League.
Potential right-handed power bat and plus arm at third base with long sweeping stroke. Good athlete from a competitive part of the country. Career will ride on how much power we get from him at 3B or 1B.
My money would be on Gabryzwski if its one of this trio, as Dean seems a bit too much value to add here. But, I'm also okay with the player not coming off this list at all.