And the Beltran saga is over....for the Astros at least. It will be interesting to see where he lands. If it ends up being with the Mets, I'm gonna have a hard time believing that he's anything other than a greedy liar. Hard to backup the statement that you want to play for a contender and be in the playoffs if you end up signing with the Mets. In the end, I guess it was all about the money.
As for the Astros, where do we go from here? We got all this money freed up now, but no one left in the free agent market worthy of spending it on. We can most likely assume that missing out on Beltran means that Clemens won't be back (but I've been wrong a lot in my life....let's hope I am again in this case).
So we have basically the same team from last year's playoff team. Minus our best starting pitcher (Clemens). Minus our stud CF (Beltran). Minus a solid bat at 2B (Kent). And thankfully, minus Dan "I suck hard" Miceli. Wade Miller is gone, but he was injured anyways. We should get Pettitte back and hopefully he'll be healthy the entire year.
In my opinion, we still need another bat (an OF), another SP, and still another RP. The problem is that everyone that would be worth signing has already been signed. The last good SP options were O.Perez and Lowe (although not a good one in my opinion) and they're most likely signed by LA now. The only OF option really is Burnitz (who I hardly care for).
I guess we'll find out in the next few weeks what's in store for the Astros future. I can only expect that we'll try to lock up Berkman and Oswalt to long term deals now (4-5 years each). And we'll see if we can pull of any kind of trade to fill some needs for this year. I only pray that Palmeiro is not our starting RF to begin the year....oh the pain.