The Astros signed The Ageless John Franco to a 1 year, 700K deal today. I don't like it at all. Chris Hammond just signed with the Padres for 750K, and here are their combined numbers from the last 3 years:
Hammond, '02 - '04: 192.2 IP, 2.06 ERA
Franco, '02-'04: 80.1 IP, 4.15 ERA
And here are their numbers against lefties:
Hammond, '02-'04: 252 AB, 626 OPS allowed
Franco, '02-'04: 120 AB, 637 OPS allowed.
Ok, so they are pretty similar against lefties, but Hammond is younger (he's 39, so there aren't too many pitchers he's younger than), healthier, and WAAAAY better against righties.
There's no silver lining here: we blew this one. We could have a much better pitcher for an extra 50K, and instead we waited too long, and now we're going to have to settle for either John Franco or Mike Gallo as our lefty reliever. And if we go with both, make that two mediocrities in our bullpen, and some potentially useful reliever (Qualls, Wheeler, Harville, Carlos Hernandez?) gets the shaft. Thumbs down, Astros management. Thumbs down.
But we're stuck with him now. My bullpen?
Closer - Brad Lidge. Duh.
Set-up guy - Chad Qualls, unless someone else steps up.
Middle Relief: Chad Harville
Lefty: John Franco (better against lefties than Gallo, at least)
Spot Starter: Dave Burba vs. Pete Munro
This is assuming Carlos Hernandez is the 5th starter and Tim Redding gets traded in a package for a center fielder.
If we had been a little more active on the free agent market, we could have easily had
which is so much better than what we have it hurts me. I'm betting Osuna and Hammond combine for 100 innings of sub-3.00 ERA, and we could have had them for under 2 million combined. Damn damn damn.