2020 in review

Astros got way farther than I thought they would. What difference would a healthy JV, Yordan, Osuna…or Peacock and Smith have made? We’ll never know, but the growth of some their replacements has been tremendous. Framber breaking out, Javier, more good work from Urquidy…bullpen arms Paredes, Scrubb, Taylor…they got better and better as the year went on, and they were a huge reason for the playoff success, not the Achilles heel most expected. And don’t get me started on Maldonado. He’s the MVP of this team, IMO.

Where do they go from here? Stay tuned…


We are going to need a closer.

Below is a text I sent this morning to Mark and Drew Corleone:

In the bright light of day, the craziest thing about this “season” is we got to within one game of the WS. I have some “what happened to” unanswered questions about players I counted on: Altuve, Bregman, James, Abreu, Reddick, Gurriel.

The starting pitching in this series, including McCullers, was good enough to win it, and the relievers held their own, but as Mark said, the offense came and went. When we hit, we won because the pitching staff kept us in games, and when we did not hit, we lost. Altuve chipped in critical errors which looked like the yips. I did not watch much of the regular season but followed them on GZ, and pluses for me include the development and success of Framber, Javier, Paredes, Tucker, Taylor, and to an extent, Raley and Scrubb. Greinke was both good and mediocre this year. Another major plus is Correa’s leadership, and his bat became a force in the clutch.

Hot Stove League for us begins today. Who knows what Crane’s plan is? The infield returns intact, but Brantley and Springer are FA now. I assume Reddick will retire, we will not pursue a rehabbing Osuna, and JV will be rehabbing all year too. Extending Correa to lock him up deserves attention. How much is Crane willing to spend? If this team needs hitting to be great, how do we let Uncle Mike and his buddy George walk? Will Alvarez return to his previous ROY form? There were no outstanding hitters at RR after Alvarez and Tucker. Will we try to trade Greinke? Will we pursue FA, and if so, who? What would y’all do with this team?

Hard to be pissed about elimination by the #1 seed and CFM in Game Seven after being down 0-3. Game Seven in 2019 will always haunt me, but last night does not hurt like that. We had a good run in the playoffs, pissed off the haters, and gave our stars (looking at you, Alex) a chance to be heroes. Probably could not ask for much more, but I wish our bats had showed up last night. Through 5, Morton had thrown 46 pitches. That says it all.


Part of me likes the talent and wants to re-sign as much as possible, and part of me thinks that this talent hasn’t produced as much as it should, and Click’s main task is diagnosing why that is. That being said, I’m probably over-thinking it or off base, and the issues ahead are what everyone talks about: how much money will Crane make available in the near and long term, thereby guiding rather obvious tasks for Click.

If you had to choose 1: sign Springer or lock up Correa

Judgement free zone

I think I’d lock up Carlos.

But I don’t know if those 2 issues are related.

And if not sign George.

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I can’t imagine anyone trading for Greinke. He’s making as much as Gerrit Cole. I suppose the Astros could chip in on top of what the DBacks are paying but he’s not a $35MM/year pitcher.

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I lock up Correa too, because he’s simply more difficult to replace. Hopefully those two things are not mutually exclusive.


If I were Jim Crane, I would take the one-year hit in 2021 to lock up Springer and Correa long term and bring Brantley back on a two or three year deal. Then, I would find a competent second catcher to spell Maldonado for cheap (Garneau and Stubbs aren’t the answer). I wonder if Chirnos would like to return. I would non-tender Osuna, Peacock and Devenski, saving $16 million, and would only bring Reddick back if he wants to play for next to nothing. Bullpen wise, I presume Smith is returning for the second season of his two-year, $8 million contract, so you have another arm returning to go with Pressly, Paredes and Taylor.

In 2022, the Astros only have $50 million in current salary obligations if they accept Yuli’s $8M player option. If they decline it, they only have $42 million in salary obligations that season, with only Valdez (year 1), Diaz (year 3), and Josh James (year 1) as the team’s only arbitration-eligible players. The last two are easily trade/non-tender candidates.

The development of young, cheap pitching (Valdez, Urquidy, Javier, Paredes and Taylor) made this possible.

Finally, I would not trade Zack Greinke. For most of this crazy season, he pitched well, and I wouldn’t expect the Astros to get a lot in return considering his salary and the fact he’s a free agent to be after the 2021 season.


Altuve delivered offensively in the postseason. Yips were costly no doubt. But he hit over .400 in the LCS. So there’s a balance.

Bregman/Gurriel both hit .143 and OPS were pitifully low. Yuli’s was higher than Alex’s. Yikes.

But give me those 2 to start a season or a postseason and I’ll take my chances. Yuli will heal, Alex will gym rat like a fiend in the offseason.

I hope it’s not either/or but I agree. I’d lock Correa. As much as I’d hate to see Springer in another uni, Correa is more valuable.

I’d probably lock up Correa too, though I love Springer and really don’t want to see him go. Before this season, I would have preferred to keep Springer, but Correa changed my mind this year.

I really don’t want to see Springer go, though.

You may not want to hear this, but this ALCS wasn’t exactly an aberration for Bregman. In his four ALCS, he’s hitting .153 and slugging .188, with 0 home runs and 5 RBIs. He’s hit for a little more power in the World Series, but he ain’t exactly in the running for the new Mr. October.


Haven’t looked at the FA lists or even thought about the trade market, but a starter and a reliever would be nice adds.

Not sure how they’d replace both Springer and Brantley. Bring them both back if you can.

In the past, Team Correa was pretty clear about wanting to be on the FA market, not sure if that’s changed.

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Curious about this statement. Makes me think only WS victories satisfy you.

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Probably so, but I think it’s a fair question: when we look back at the talent the last four years, is one championship and 2 WS appearances acceptable, or should there have been more. I often think that this cast of characters has been a little too satisfied and if they focused more, or were a bit hungrier, they’d have accomplished more.

2019 at the start of the LDS round Vegas had the Astros as the favorite to win the WS-- at 33%.

This ain’t the NFL or the NBA.

It’s shaded much more toward the NHL.

Take your 4 LCS appearances, 2 pennants, and 1 GLORIOUS WS Title and be grateful.


It seems to me that stardom has always been a big motivator for Correa. He wants to be the best and be seen as such. The game needs marketable guys like that to drive revenue. Free Agency is a rare opportunity to be the talk of baseball for a winter. To be courted by teams and spoken of often in the media. Even if he ultimately re-signs with Houston, I would be shocked if he passed that opportunity up.

As much as I would like to avoid that with Correa, I’m not going to hold it against him for wanting it. It is as much of what makes him who he is as eschewing it is to Altuve.

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Correa showed me this post-season he is the Alpha Male on this team.

Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but this is nuts to me. This 4 year run of success ranks among the greatest runs in the history of the sport. To have met this expectation, they would have been hands-down the greatest team in baseball history. Amazing enough to consider that this could have been, far too lofty to say it should have.


We’ve seen flashes of it from players like Springer and Altuve, but I don’t think there’s any doubt anymore that Correa is the Leader Of The Team, at least publicly.

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