Updated: Nov 17
We have been on a journey this offseason to define a realistic plan that the Astros would follow something similar this offseason. If you have not been here with us, you may want to start with our "Offseason Outline".
We have a professional GM now in the Astros Front Office- unlike last year at this time. Dana Brown is going to execute a strategy. Here is how we put together what we will now show as a comprehensive plan for improving the 2024 Astros. This is an example of what their strategy could be.
We defined our financial limits understanding this team has huge extension and re-signing decisions to make. From our "Astros 2024-2025 Payroll Projection" article we concluded that the Astros had around $18-20M AAV TOTAL to spend on preferably one-year deals to stay under the CBT2 in 2024 and CBT3 in 2025,
Backup catcher that would be an upgrade over Salazar or Berryhill (NOT Maldy- he would hurt this WAR)
Good LHRP (with loss of Neris probably a second RP too)
LHSP that can pitch at least 100 IP
Starting LHH OF that is strong vs. RHP- if payroll space is available
Then we went to work to balance cost vs. benefit of Free Agent and Trade options.
For the Pitchers in our "Improving the 2024 Astros- Pitchers Today" article we recommended this plan:
Sign Wade Miley to a 1-year deal worth about $8M OR
Trade for Boston's Nick Pivetta
Trade for Trevor Megill from the Brewers AND
Sign Jake Diekman, Scott Alexander, or Trade for Garrett Crochet
The Astros would take care of their critical pitching needs with these moves. The total cost should not be over $12M AAV for the acquisition of the three pitchers."
For the Hitters in our "Improving the 2024 Astros- Position Players" article we recommended this plan:
Sign Caratini ASAP if possible- $3-4M AAV
Trade for Kelly if the trade cost is reasonable- net $3.5M AAV
Sign Tom Murphy if 1 and 2 are not possible- $3-4M AAV
Get Oakland to trade Rooker- net ~$5M off the payroll
Sign Jung-hoo Lee if price is reasonable- If below $10M AAV
It MAY be best to stick with Meyers playing more regularly than the next options
Get the Cubs to trade Tauchman- close to neutral payroll
Get Cincinnati to trade Fraley - net ~$5M off the payroll
Sign Heyward if all else fails- $4-4.5M AAV
The Astros could take care of these two positional needs for less than $8M AAV."
I am not sure the Astros will view the OF listed as worth the investment except for Rooker. For now, I will show the final plan without the OF addition because this aligns with Brown's statements as well.
The overall improvement plan looks like this.
2024 Astros Improvement Plan
A. Sign Caratini ASAP if possible- $3-4M AAV
B. Trade for Kelly if the trade cost is reasonable- net $3.5M AAV
A. Trade for Boston's Nick Pivetta- $6.9M AAV
B. Sign Wade Miley to a 1-year deal worth about $8M AAV
A. Trade for Trevor Megill from the Brewers $0.8M AAV
B1. Sign Jake Diekman or
B2. Sign Scott Alexander (est. $2M) or
B3. Trade for Garrett Crochet
The total cost would be around $13M AAV. The projected WAR of the four players in bold is 5.0.
Players that could be sent in these trade deals- Corona, Correa, Dirden, Hensley, Kessinger, Salazar
Rule 5 Draft implications
We also documented several Rule 5 eligible players in our "Astros: 2023 Rule 5 Draft- Protection List" article.
May be added to the 40-man roster- only Corona was added
Rule 5 eligible players that may be traded
Players on the 40-man roster that may be taken off
This is my comprehensive plan for improving the 2024 Houston Astros. I KNOW there are not huge names here. THIS is a plan the Astros COULD do,
Let me know what you think.
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