Guess I should have checked Rotoworld this morning before posting, since there's a few Astros-related tidbits:
1. Astros GM Tim Purpura spoke with Jeromy Burnitz's agent on Monday.Burnitz wants to play center and the Astros could be willing to let him. Pittsburgh and Arizona also have vacancies in center.
I could live with it, but Burnitz is pretty bad in CF. Decent OBP, good power, bad defense. I don't like it that much.
2. Mariners GM Bill Bavasi denied reports he's talked with the Astros about Randy Winn.If the two teams talk, Brandon Backe's name figures to come up. The Astros could be smart to sell high with him.
It wouldn't be a terrible idea to sell high with Backe, but I would probably want more than Randy Winn in return. Bavasi is a terrible GM - surely we could do a little better than that.
3. Mike Cameron hasn't asked for a trade, but he would prefer to play center field elsewhere than right field in New York, Newsday reports.Cameron and Cliff Floyd to the Cubs for Sammy Sosa? Cameron to the Astros for Jason Lane? Or maybe we'll see the Manny Ramirez talks with Boston revisited. The Diamondbacks, A's, Tigers and Yankees could also be interested in Cameron. If the Mets can trade him without taking much salary in return, they'd have an easier time signing Carlos Delgado. If they don't get a right fielder back, they could then let Eric Valent and Victor Diaz battle for playing time.
Well, Cameron-for-Jason Lane wouldn't help us at all. We need Lane in LF. Well...hang on a sec. If we do trade Lane, we could play Biggio at LF, Burke at 2B, and put Cameron in CF, who might help hide some of Biggio's shortcomings. Still, it would be a shame to trade Lane, who has put in more than enough time to earn a starting job. I would much rather try Backe-for-Cameron or a couple of prospects for Cameron (Todd Self? Bucholz? Brooks Conrad?)
4. Astros re-signed third baseman Mike Lamb to a one-year, $1.3 million contract.He can earn $200,000 in bonuses. Lamb will battle Morgan Ensberg for playing time at third base. He'll probably be the backup, but he should still get a fair amount of playing time. Depending on what happens the rest of the winter, the Astros may try him in the outfield during spring training.
Lamb's defensive numbers in the OF are terrible. I don't like it. He fits in better as a backup 3B and late inning pinch hitter. He could also give Bagwell the occasional day off so his shoulder doesn't implode.
Ok, I guess that's it. Purpura, at least TALK to Bavasi about Randy Winn (another report has Hargrove leaning towards making Jeremy Reed his fulltime CF next year, which would move Winn to LF, Ichiro! to RF, and Ibanez to DH, but the Mariners might like to play Bucky Jacobsen at DH) or the Mets about Mike Cameron. Don't just settle for 35 year old, chubby, slow, Jeromy Burnitz. Do some homework.