Houston Astros State Of The Union For 2016
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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The Houston Astros are set to contend for the foreseeable future. A 6 year stretch in which they revamped their entire Minor League System – and kept payroll down to grab top Draft Picks finally reeled in the teams 1st playoff spot in a decade in 2016.
After taking a 6 – 2 lead in Game 4 of the ALDS series against the Royals with 2 – 1 lead the Bullpen coughed up the margin – with the club also losing the next game to the eventual World Series winner.
It was a tough lesson to learn in the postseason – but it may be the 1st of many appearances in October in the near future.
The #1 task of acquiring a lock down Closer has been addressed in the recent trade for Ken Giles. Yes it cost them Brett Oberholtzer, former #1 overall Draft Pick Mark Appel, and a few other prospects, but it also sets up the nucleus core for 4 – 5 more years.
The clubs offense featured 11 guys with double digit Homers in the lineup, and 2 others that fell just a dinger shy of the clip.
With the power does come a lot of Strikeouts too. The team had 7 players top the century mark in whiffs during the 2015 season.
With this amount of depth – that includes a surplus of Preston Tucker, Jon Singleton, Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick on the Roster, the organization also have trade chips that may net them a nice Starting Pitcher should they go through the trade route.
Keep in mind that Carlos Gomez and Colby Rasmus will both be Free Agents after next year. Houston can’t offer Rasmus another Qualifying Offer next winter – although they could with Gomez.
Heading into the coming year there are a few other players who will be Free Agents after the 2016 too that the franchise needs to address. Luis Valbuena, Scott Feldman and Jason Castro could leave after next campaign.
This is where the organization needs to take from one strength to address another. The squad could go with Preston Tucker and Marisnick to replace Gomez and Rasmus for 2017, but they have to assess if that will help them maintain being a contender for the playoffs in future years.
Jon Singleton is listed as the #1 player for the 1B position. He will have big power shoes to fill with the Astros having recently non-tendered Chris Carter. Carter posted 90 HRs over the last 3 years for the Houston club as the predominant 1B.
Since whole Roster only averages 26.4 years of age in the coming year, there are a lot of Team Controllable Salaries. Houston looks to be right around $90 MIL in payroll for the 2016 year. This gives them the ability to spend another $25 – $35 MIL if they so wish to.
The club still has 3 years left of Team Control on Keuchel and 4 on both McHugh and Altuve. Houston also has control of Springer, Giles and Singleton for the next 5 years, while Correa and McCullers JR are not Free Agents until 2022. The window to win will be for at least the next four seasons.
This was another great factor of the Giles trade.
Texas and Los Angeles are both aging rapidly with their Roster, and Seattle never seems to put it together. The A’s are in the stages of a rebuild – and may not compete for the next couple of years.
Houston is lucky enough to broken free from the NL Central, where the Cubs, Cards and Bucs all had the best 3 teams in the Majors during the 2015 year. The Astros are fortunate to have moved over to a more winnable AL West.
The sky is the limit with this club. Having ALL – Star, Silver Sluggers up the middle with Altuve and Correa for at least the next four years is an advantage over the other clubs. Springer’s ascent should also help the club up the ranks.
It makes all the suffering the fans endured for the 6 years prior worth it if they can cash in on their club for the next half a dozen years.
Luhnow’s job will be too keep upgrading the Roster towards making pushes for long playoff runs.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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Posted on December 19, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of The Unions and tagged 2015 AL Rookie Of The Year, 2015 ALDS, 2015 Cy Young Winner, AL West, American league, Brett Oberholtzer, carlos gomez, chris carter, colby rasmus, collin mchugh, david price, evan gattis, george springer, houston astros, Houston Astros Roster in 2016, jake marisnick, jason castro, jeff luhnow, jon singleton, jose altuve, kansas city royals, Ken Giles, Lance McCullers JR, luis valbuena, luke gregerson, mark appel, marwin gonzalez, mike fiers, pat neshek, Preston Tucker, scott feldman, seattle mariners, texas rangers, Tony Sipp. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.