The Houston Astros’ pillars used to consist of the following- Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, Carlos Lee, Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez. Of those guys, the ones you’d want to hold onto are probably the first four. The next three are on somewhat bloated contracts and aren’t going to bring in a ton.
So naturally the ‘Stros (which is stupid to say, because it isn’t if you’re saving time by shortening it, you’re only cutting off one letter.) kept the latter three and moved the first four. This is all and well if you can get returns for the others and come away with oodles of youth that make the talking heads and pundits giggle.
But it’s not, at least not to me. I’m no top prospect aficionado by any stretch, but Houston seems short of them. They aren’t short on former top prospects though. Brett Wallace is one, Jed Lowrie, Matt Downs , Jason Castro and Jordan Schafer are others. The Astros really don’t have a big youth movement to be honest, and a lot of that has to do with the puzzling roster spots held by Lee, Rodriguez and Myers.
Now, all three players still being on the roster is explainable. Rodriguez and Lee’s respective contracts are albatrosses to sugar coat it. And they could be simply waiting out the closer market to get a good return on Myers.
This piece is completely irrelevant if Houston moves all three at the deadline, but very prominent otherwise. Lee could end up being dealt out of the blue to a team who needs a bat. Let’s be honest, did any of us think Alex Rios was going to be dealt, with his monster contract in tow, when Toronto moved him to Chicago?
Rodriguez is a slightly different case seeing as his deal isn’t as bad as Lee’s, still bad nonetheless, but not as bad. A squad in dire need of pitching might come calling. (Emphasize might.)
Myers, on the imaginary third hand, will probably be traded. There’s always a healthy demand for good closers and Myers is just that, a good closer.
So what are the Houston Astros thinking? Nobody knows.