Optimism -- not in the cards
There are problems with the deals -- with all of the money Drayton sent the Phillies and Yankees you would expect them to have gotten something more than just J.A. Happ, Brett Wallace, and a bunch of young kids.
Then again, when Ed Wade's your trader-in-chief, you really can't expect much. That's not the problem. The problem is, with numerous reports that the Astros weren't exactly honest in their dealings with them regarding Oswalt, these same teams still attempted to make deals for Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez, only to have the Astros demand the moon, a position the Astros weren't in the position to make after their supposed dishonesty that led to the Phillies getting noticeably better without having to give up a big prospect or name.
Still, the Astros were able to get something for them, and that should be applauded because the Astros need good prospects in the farm system if they're ever going to get better again.
And with those deals, it appeared that Drayton McLane was finally getting the message that his team wasn't good, had limited talent, and that rebuilding was necessary.
Then comes yesterday where the Astros decided to hand Myers a new two-year contract with an option for a third. By default, Myers was already the ace of the Astros staff, which spoke to just how bad the Astros staff is, especially with Oswalt gone. But it's especially bad seeing as how Myers has already failed in the staff ace role with the Phillies, has a history of injury problems, and also has a bit of a temper problem.
Then there's the numbers behind the contract -- $21 million guaranteed for the first two years and a total of $28 million if the Astros pick up the third year. You look at these numbers, you look at Myers' unexceptional career record, you look at his injury history, and you can't help but get the feeling that the idiots really are in charge of the asylum down at Minute Maid Park.
This signing just doesn't make sense.
Despite the season that he's having, it's just doubtful that anybody would have been willing to sign Myers to this type of contract come next season. The only reason he was in Houston in the first place was because nobody, not even in the Phillies, wanted anything to do with him.
So instead of taking advantage of Myers having a career year and getting some young, talented prospects for him, the Astros are instead locked into him for big bucks for at least two more years. It's almost as if Ed Wade sees an injury-prone player having a career season and feels the need to offer him up a big contract. See Matsui, Kazuo's 2007 season with the Rockies that led to his becoming a Houston Astro.
Then there was that huge contract that Wade gave to the injury-prone Brandon Lyon to be the closer this season. Of course, Lyon wasn't actually good enough to close and now he's making five million a year to pitch the eighth inning on those rare occasions when the Astros are competitive and winning a game.
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The case is that the Astros aren't going to be competitive for the next several years. But it should be fun watching guys like Jason Castro, Chris Johnson, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, and Brett Wallace. Hopefully, they'll be able to score lots of runs because the pitching will be bad.
The ticket prices won't go down. The concession prices won't go down. Drayton McLane will probably start bitching about how he's losing money, and Ed Wade will continue to hand out stupid contracts to people who aren't worth the money.
But at least it should be a bit more fun to watch a losing team.
Of course, what I'm really worried about is what's going to happen to those idiots who dressed up like pumas every game? Did they get traded to the Yankees, too? Or are they actually going to have to watch the baseball games?