Sports talk radio was all abuzz this morning with news that theHouston Astros
had a "major announcement" at a 9:30 a.m. press conference at Minute Maid Park. Over atSports Radio 610
, Morning hosts John Granato and Lance Zierlein wondered what the rest of us did: Could the Astros finally have landed a real bat? Maybe (gasp!)Miguel Tejada
Then came a rumor that the team was just going to announce a contract extension with All-Star slinger Roy Oswalt. Sure, signing Roy-O to an extension is crucial (and needed to be done, like, last year). But was that "major announcement"-worthy?
Finally, around 9:40 a.m. (gotta love the drama), team general manager Tim Purpura actually announced the major announcement: the 'stros acquired outfielder Aubrey Huff and $1.625 million in cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. To nab Huff, the Astros parted ways with minor league right-handed pitcher Mitch Talbot and minor league infielder Ben Zobrist.
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Who the hell is Aubrey Huff? Quite the hoss, actually. Huff gives the Astros a serious left-handed hitter. The acquisition helps solidify the outfield, which should hopefully now feature Preston Wilson left, Willie Taveras and Chris Burke in the middle and Huff on the right. Fan favorite and All-Star Fat Elvis should get to move to first base. And Huff is extremely versatile, a quality that should make Phil Garner, who yesterday got punked by Ozzie Guillen, very happy.
The coolest part of the trade? The Astros now have a guy named Preston and a guy named Aubrey in the OF.
The Astros held a conference call for Huff this afternoon. The new Astro was nothing but a stand up guy, offering up team-first statements like "...whatever it takes to get the best possible lineup on the field" when asked about his role on his new team. (We think it'll take another $11 million in payroll to get the best possible lineup on the field, but whatev.)
Well, there was one cryptic comment. When Huff, who grew up in Fort Worth and is a big fan of country music, was asked whether he was excited about coming to Houston (where presumably he'd be in a cowboy town), he noted that Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston are "totally different places." Good point, Aubrey. You'll soon note what makes us so "different." We're "better." — Steven Devadanam