A random poster at Baseball Primer's Message Board said they he was listening to a Carlos Beltran interview and Beltran reportedly said they he "never considered the Astros". To which I have to send a big FUCK YOU to Beltran and Boras, for leaving us high and dry while all other possible free agent options (J.D. Drew, Odalis Perez, Adrian Beltre) slipped through our fingers.
If the Astros can't land Soriano, it appears they'll turn their attention to acquiring Randy Winn from Seattle or Marlon Byrd from Philadelphia.
Jan. 11 - 1:41 pm etSource: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The same article says that the Rangers are leaning towards keeping Soriano (and not pursuing Delgado). This is good news - Soriano is overpaid and would not be a good fit. So, Winn and Byrd:
Randy Winn, 31, CF, Switch hitter:
His OPS+ the last 3 years (100 is league average for his position, and this takes park factors into account also...check out Baseball Reference for more info) have been 117, 105, and 107. He has a good stolen base rate the last 3 years (77%, 82%, 75%), he's only missed 20 games the last 3 yeras, and his fielding has been excellent (his Range Factor is consistently higher than league average for a CF). Some of his 'similar batters' look good, like Jose Cruz and Steve Finley...but I have to mention that his #1 comp is Doug Glanville. Ouch. Overall, a solid player, and he made 3.5 million last year for the Mariners.
Marlon Byrd, 27, CF, Bats right:
He had an excellent 2003, with a 109 OPS+, 11 steals vs. 1 caught stealing, and a good Range Factor at the age of 25, and then proceeded to be absolutely terrible last year. Check it out. That's rough: a 57 OPS+! What happened? Was he hurt? I couldn't find any mention of it if he was, and his 2nd half stats were as bad as his 1st half. I don't know what caused it, but maybe he's just not that good. At this point, I can't really recommend acquiring him, because he was so damn bad last year. We could probably get him pretty cheap, but I just don't know.
I'd rather see us go after his Philly buddy Jason Michaels, age 27, Bats right:
Here are his career numbers in 519 AB:
.283 / .370 / .457, 17 HR, 70 BB, 137 K (!)
He's not very good defensively (check out one of Andy's recent posts for his blooper of the year), but I'd rather have him than Byrd right now.
Well, I have to be honest: none of those 3 guys really knocks my socks off. I'd rank them 1) Winn 2) Michaels 3) Byrd. I guess I say try and trade for Winn, if for no other reason than the fact that we can probably destory Bill Bavasi in a trade - think of it as a test for Purpura.
I've heard a few suggestions that we try Mike Lamb in LF. While it's not a terrible idea (Lamb couldn't really be worse than Biggio in LF), it ignores the fact that it would push Lane or Berkman to center, which could spell disaster.
Go after Winn, I guess. I'm kinda depressed just thinking about it.