So to speak.
Mo Ensberg has been traded to the Padres (with $$$) for either a PTBNL or cash. I’m figuring it will probably be cash – McLane wouldn’t know a good prospect if one jumped up and bit him in the butt. So McLane didn’t care real too particular much if he got anything back for Ensberg, he just wanted him gone. The Pads fans I know are DELIGHTED. Interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets himself together. I remember what happened to the last third baseman we traded to the Padres. Of course, the fans didn’t WANT him gone.
I was actually surprised there were so few deals – the teams who were dealing wanted too much for what they were selling, so not much happened. Hard to believe we couldn’t get ANYTHING useful for a single guy on this team. Well, I guess it’s not hard to believe that McLane couldn’t get anything useful. I guess he has got to have a bad team and angry fans for a LONG time before he’ll wise up and actually hire a GM or a decent farm director or head of development. Maybe he will NEVER wise up. I wouldn’t have thought Angelos would tolerate all those years of losing and fan apathy of what was once a top top franchise, but I guess the lure of 20 something mill a year and playing GM significantly overcame being a loser.
And I hopeHOPE McLane doesn’t turn into the Nuttings, whose goal is to just try to win 75 games a year every year (and pocket 30 mill in profit.)
As for our Big Deal, here’s what Keith Law of ESPN has to say:
I have zero idea what Houston was thinking when they gave Dan Wheeler to Tampa Bay for Ty Wigginton.
Wigginton is a terrible defensive third baseman who doesn’t get on base, isn’t young (he turns 30 in October) and will end this year with over four years of service, making him a free agent after 2009. He’s another good example of a guy plucked off the scrap heap who provided some unexpected value, but he’s a below-average hitter because of his career-long aversion to the walk. He has a .330 OBP since the start of the 2006 season. In other words, the Astros just traded one year of Wheeler, a good reliever with experience as a closer, for two years of Wigginton, a player without a position and who has mediocre offensive skills. Sure, this winter’s free-agent third base market is top-heavy (Mike Lowell and potentially Alex Rodriguez) but otherwise very shallow. And Wigginton represents an upgrade over the 2007 edition of Morgan Ensberg. But he’s much worse than the 2006 and 2005 editions of Ensberg, and the cost to acquire Wigginton was the lost opportunity to deal Wheeler for a younger and potentially better player. It’s a short-term move, and not a particularly good one, for a team that needs to look more long-term.
I just can’t figure out who exactly is driving that bus. (Mclane vs Purpura) The strategy is built around the assumption that they’ll be right back in this thing next year, and I don’t think that’s realistic. Their system is almost completely devoid of position-player prospects, and Pence is the only hitter on their roster under age 27 and the only good hitter under 31. Rebuilding an offense without major-league ready hitters in your farm system takes 4-5 years, not one.
Now, I know that some people will sneer at anything that Law says because he went to this place called Harvard – I think it is some kind of reform school or something, because it turns out Really Bad Guys like Paul DePodesta who do terrible things like use computers and not treat their zits and trade guys who are buddybuddy with reporters like Paulie LoDuca for really good pitchers like Brad Penny and go around winning their divisions.
Anyhow, the Astros, far as I can tell, have done exactly ZERO to improve the team for either this year or next. As far as I can tell, they have no real plans to move anyone by August 31, either, and McLane hasn’t shown any ability to pick guys like Wheeler off the waiver wires. As far as I can tell, Phil will be playing musical positions with anyone not named Carlos Lee – I mean “managing” and McLane will still be the GM.
At this minute, the Texiera trade is not official, so we may or may not see him tonight. Gotta say this – at least they are TRYING. And remember, Schuerholz has a LOT lower budget to play with than McLane does. Somehow, he has a better roster, a MUCH better farm, and makes MUCH better deals.
Tags: Houston Astros