First, I apologize in advance for offending Jim and others with this post. I know this website hates this type of speculation. Frankly, this has been on my mind and I just wanted to put it out there so I can stop counting Bregman’s to go to sleep.
I’ve read a lot about how the Astros window to compete is closing. To me, that is massively premature. I’m not certain how many other teams could have sustained the loss of an Ace (Verlander), the closer (Osuna), multiple key set up men in Harris, Peacock, McHugh and Smith, and then various injuries to Alvarez, Brantley, Altuve, Springer, Bregman - all missing plenty of time. Plus the loss of AJ who knew how to work this dugout, and the loss of Luhnow who knew how to work the trade deadline.
I like a team that will enter next season with a starting pitching staff of Greinke, McCullers, Urquidy, Valdez and Javier. On paper that isn’t Verlander, Morton, Keuchel, McCullers and Cole (ok, its not that in real life either) - but those five all have proven MLB worth.
Fortunately we will have another offseason of distance from the pressure of the hitting scandal. There was no doubt it was going to impact our guys. But in the end, we have 5 guys penciled into a lineup that should hit well above major league average in Altuve, Alvarez, Bregman, Correa and Tucker. Martin has been far better this season. Neither Brantley nor Yuli should break the bank in this offseason in which free agent dollars are expected to be limited.
I know it hasn’t worked for the Rockets, but run it back seems plausible to me. Sign George 4/120 and put a club option 5 on the deal to make it sparkly big. I would thing 2 year deals for Brantley @ $24million and Yuli @$16 million and a the band is back together.
My favorite part of the pipe dream is a restructure/extension with Justin, $5 million next season for rehab, 2 more years at $15 - $17 million and maybe we can make it work. I think we are around $132. Springer, Brantley, Yuli would add $40M - while in Y1 the Verlander savings would put the total around $12 and $144, leaving some cash on hand to address bullpen and potentially another starter.
Regardless of our ability to retain our starting outfield - we did get positive affirmation this season on Tucker, Valdez, Javier, Urquidy, Paredes, Taylor and to a lesser extent Scrubb and Railey. Duplicating the 2017 pitching staff is a stretch - but certainly a competitive club.