For those of you holding out hope that Astros’ GM Tim Purpura can actually be counted on to reverse his club’s fortunes, I come bearing very bad news indeed.
From ESPN.com’s Buster Olney:
Other general managers enjoy chatting with Houston's Tim Purpura, a truly nice guy. But in trade talks, they judge him to be an ultraconservative Texas hold 'em player. Faced with risk, Purpura folds. He has no tells, they say, because he plays very few hands. "If you look at his track record, he doesn't make a lot of trades," says a rival GM.
For most of us, this is not exactly new news, but the timing is rather disconcerting when you consider the market for the oft-discussed Brad Lidge. Again, I’ll hand the reins over to Mr. Olney:
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If Purpura were to change tactics and shake up the table heading into the July 31 trading deadline, he has a great card to play in Brad Lidge, who, according to reports, is more than willing to leave Houston. At a time when there are almost no quality relievers available, Purpura could dangle Lidge, who has one of the best arms in the game, experience (104 career saves) and another season and a half before he can become a free agent. Lidge would be the five-karat diamond in a market filled with cubic zirconia.
Finally, Olney goes on to list a who’s who of big market, mega-money teams (Yanks, Red Sox, Tigers, Mets, etc.) that covet Lidge’s services. Unfortunately, Olney concludes by saying most baseball execs believe Lights Out is staying put.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If the Astros have any interest in making this nightmare of a season worthwhile, they’ll seize this opportunity and use Lidge to start filling this team’s many holes and replenish its near-barren farm system.
You got what you wanted, Tim. After losing his job as closer, Lidge has returned to form and become a valuable commodity again in the process. Now get on the phone and get to work. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get in touch with Daryl Morey. I’ve got some sweet T-Mac trade proposals to send his way. – Jason Friedman