Sounds kind of negative, doesn’t it?
The Astros, I mean Tal Smith, prefers to wait to sign any long term contracts on Astros home grown players until their last arb year (see Bagwell, Berkman, Oswalt, Hidalgo, etc) and Wandy was no exception to the general rule.
Just before the deadline, he signed a 3 year contract for 34 mill (and a 4th year vesting option – don’t have details on that one) without a no-trade (VERY important, mind) for his age 32, 33 and 34 year seasons. He’ll only be paid 7 mill this year (with a 1.5 mill bonus) so he will very likely remain with the club until at least the trade deadline. He is, believe it or not, one of the best lefties in the NL – too many people still think of 2006 Wandy and refuse to look at any later stats.
I still don’t have any idea how close the club is to being sold – even in this economic climate, there are eager prospective owners, but they are not willing to pay Drayton’s price or any bonus price for a Glamour Franchise like the Cubs or Dodgers.
But this means that the new ownership may want Wandy’s salary off the books and it won’t be hard to trade him and his very reasonable contract, especially this year. If you are thinking that I’ve got a doom and gloom outlook, you are dead right. But at least it means that I can still wear my Wandy t-shirt with the Astros star on the front.
Pence, on the other hand, will be going to arb, and Tal Smith has only lost once, so he’s going to have his butt handed to him. I have a feeling that unless he has some kind of breakout year, that he isn’t going to get any sort of long term contract, as he’s a good RF, but not a STAR!!!!
Speaking of STAR!!!! RF, Berkman has been working out differently, getting used to having to do all that running in the St. Looie OF. The Cards traded Brendan Ryan, their fabulous fielding SS with the Adam Everett glove and bat, apparently because he forgets to not look as if he’s actually having fun playing baseball – he was replaced by The Riot, who is definitely inferior with glove and indifferent with bat. Berkman is going to have a tough time looking grim…
Anyway, ST starts in just a few short weeks. We’ll have 3 starters fer sher, Wandy, the ol WB and Happ. I have no idea who else out of all the rest of rejects, castoffs, relievers and Bud Norris will start. Brandon Lyon will close. So far, I haven’t heard anything about Byrdak getting an invitation to ST, so no idea who will LOOGY.
Last I heard, JR Towles has healed from his injury that kept him out most of last year and he will – get this – be competing for a spot – in ST. He has the same chance of being a catcher on the ML team as I do – if he hits well, he might could get lucky and get traded for a badly needed middle reliever.
Keppinger is on the DL after his foot surgery – he signed for 2 mill, and I know that Ed Wade wants him off the team, but I don’t think he can be released with 30 days pay in ST if he is still on the DL, but if he can, he’s gone, because he isn’t tradeable while he’s stillon the DL and recovering. IF he can’t be released, I expect him to be gone as soon as possible. Not sure why Fast Eddie and gang want him off the team, or think that Angel Sanchez/Anderson Hernandez are any better.
My Pirates fan friends are wanting me to bet with them which team ends up with more losses. I tell them it’s against my beliefs to steal candy from babies…