Thursday, December 23, 2004

Ok ok ok. Today Drayton McLane refuted the rumor of a 6-year, $96 million offer to Beltran.

"We acknowleged that we made an offer, but in no way did we disclose [the numbers]," McLane said. "That [published] offer is a rather large offer. And it was not our offer. I don't know where that came from, but it is way beyond what our offers are."

Well this sure changes things. I still don't know how I feel about the offer, if indeed it was made. It's quite a chunk of change for one player -- $16 million would be a fifth of our estimated $80 million payroll.

But at some point we need to make a splash this offseason. Showing the door to Kent and Miller wure didn't do anything to raise fan interest. Losing out on Beltran and Clemens would doom us for sure.

So here's my final analysis of our important moves so far this offseason:

Oct. 28: Exercised option on Biggio ($3 million). I think this is fine. Can you imagine the uproar if we let him go? I heard this was a main reason why Hunsicker left. But Biggio still can be an above average lead-off man. Besides, if Varitek can get 4 years, $40 million, Biggio deserves $3 million.

Oct. 28: Declined option on Kent. Very good move. Yes, Kent was a superb player for the Astros. He obviously wasn't anything near his 2000 MVP season, but who expected him to? With Burke and Biggio as possible second-baggers, we couldn't afford Kent. He was a great player, but not worth $8 or even $7 million at this point in his career.

Nov. 2: Gerry Hunsicker resigns, Tim Pupura named GM. Hmmm. As mentioned above, I heard the Hun left in part because Biggio's option was picked up. I wonder why Gerry was so adamant against keeping Biggio? Purpura hasn't been so great so far... Just check out what he's done for us so far. Maybe there's a big ole Beltran signing on the way.

Dec. 3: Jose Vizcaino re-signed to a one-year, $1.25 million contract with $500K in incentives. Buh'oh. Jack calls it PVS: Proven Veteran Syndrome. We've already gone over this. But here are my thoughts, quite briefly: Viz is terrible. He should not be a Major Leaguer. I hate him.

Dec. 8: Orlando Palmeiro re-signed to a one-year, $800K contract. This signing isn't as bad as Vizcaino. Palmeiro isn't nearly so bad a player as Vizcaino and he's getting a lot less. Get this: his career Slugging is lower than his career OBP. Weird.

Dec. 8: Offered arbitration to Beltran and Clemens. Denied arbitration to Kent, Miceli and Oliver. These were all no-brainers except for Kent. Clemens since accepted, so he'll either play for us or play for nobody. Beltran did not accept, as everyone knew he would. The best thing the Astros have done so far this offseason is RELEASING MICELI!!! YEAH!!!!

Dec. 21: Tendered contracts to Berkman, Lamb, Duckworth, Munro, Oswalt and Redding. Did not tender contract to Miller. Sooo confusing. If MIller accepted a incentive-based contract from Boston, why didn't we offer him one? I DON'T GET IT. Miller is a GREAT pitcher. If he ain't hurt, he can dominate. He won 45 games from 2001-03. And we let him go. Hmm. I hate to say it, but I HOPE the doctors found something wrong with his shoulder. Just so that we didn't do such a stupid move.

And here we are. I hope I see Beltran's name on here soon.

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