Off-season transactions

Kenny Corona selected to the 40 man. Roster now stands at 38. MLBTR says no other moves expected prior to Rule 5 draft.

I’m shocked Barber wasn’t selected.

It’ll be a close shave getting him through the draft.


Barber’s injury from last year carried over, and he ended up with only about 320 PA this year. I had expected him to break out this year, but he actually regressed from his 2021/22 stint at Asheville (also about 320 PA combined). He has also pretty much been consigned to LF, so there is not much flexibility in terms of defensive replacement usage. A lower division team may still see the potential and take a flier, but I think it is clearly the right decision for the Astros.

Corona, by contrast, had a solid year at AA showing power (20 HR), speed (31 SB), and excellent CF defense. He may not be ready for Houston, but he would have been a no-brainer Rule 5 selection by someone. Again. IMO, a very good decision.


Thanks for that insight.

What interests me is that they exposed him but kept Julks.

If they think that Julks would be better than Barber as an IL callup in 2023 then risking him is the right move anyway because he is a much lesser prospect than I have thought.

To me, Julks is just like Taylor Jones. He can play in the big leagues at about 85-90% of average level in an emergency but his ceiling is just exceptionally low.

Barber may need more time in the minors but just due to his skill set (and left-handedness based on current Astros roster) I would expect his floor similar to Julks ceiling.

I’m not saying it’s likely Corey Julks ever develops into an above average or All-Star caliber regular, but it is incredibly premature to say we know what his ceiling is as a player after only 245 plate appearances at the MLB level.

If Dana Brown likes Julks more than Barber, that’s enough for me.

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I just don’t see much chance Barber gets plucked. If he were a legit CF, much higher odds someone grabs him and stashes him as a reserve outfielder. But he’s a corner OF and doesn’t have the kind of power projection (or present hitting ability) to make it worth carrying him in 2024. The shine has worn off him as a prospect with his power having plateaued, to the point where him becoming a Robbie Grossman-type is a realistic best case scenario. That’d be better than the 2023 version of Julks, but it’s a hypothetical, and probably not one a team is going to gamble on next year.

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Lets hope it works out.

The interesting question here has to do with those last two spots. Do they have their eyes on a Rule 5 pick? Or are they expecting to resign Neris? Or … ?

Well we know 1 has to go to a catcher.

Which is why I focused on the other one.

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I don’t think they will resign Neris. I’d love to be proven wrong, but after his last two seasons he’s going to want a significant raise. I think he’s gonna want a Montero type AAV, something like 2 @ $20M minimum. It doesn’t sound like Houston is going to want to pay that. Graveman is back next year so that helps. Of the 3 free agent bullpen arms, I think Maton is the only one they will try to sign.

I don’t know what kind of player he is defensively (and I’m too lazy to look), but Victor Caratini might be a good backup catcher option. Definitely a decent bat from the catcher position and he’s a switch hitter. The last 2 seasons, in almost 500 AB’s, he had a k rate of only 23%. An added plus is he can also play first base. Career .236 hitter coming off one of his better seasons where he hit .259. Salary last year was $2.8M.

I also wouldn’t mind signing Donovan Soloano. Nice contact bench bat who can play 3 infield positions and outfield in a pinch.

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