Sunday, November 13, 2005

No News is Good News?

Andy (Andres to you guys) and I just got back from a weekend in Vegas, which was awesome (and the best). Nothing serious Astros-related happened, although Andy tells me that Luke Scott is tearing up winter ball and that Tim Purpura hasn't contacted the agents for Molina and Hernandez yet because resigning Ausmus is "our first priority". One of these pieces of news is good; the other is bad. Betcha can't guess which one!

I would really like Luke Scott as our 4th or 5th OF next year. Although he really struggled in his time in the majors this year, he still had some great AB's (anyone remember the walk he drew against Farnsworth to set up Berkman's grand slam against the Braves in the playoffs?). He's got power and patience and he's left-handed, three attributes our offense desperately needs. He's not young (I think he's 27 or 28), but he's definitely good enough to be a bench player right now, and perhaps start in the OF down the road.

Re-signing Ausmus scares the crap out of me. Ausmus had a superficially good year last year (.350 OBP!), but he's a 37 year old catcher who hasn't slugged .350 in years, is overrated defensively, and....HE IS A THIRTY-SEVEN YEAR OLD CATCHER!!! I don't want to sign him, period, but if he gets a multi-year deal we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Trade for Estrada, sign Molina, start Quintero...any of these would be better than paying a 37-year old catcher a few million for the next couple of years. Let him go, Purpura. Let him go.


Jason said...

Anyone who's read my comments knows how I feel about the topic, but I say keep Ausmus around for another year. Anything past 2006 makes me a bit nervous, but I'm fine with keeping him for another year. His offense is adequate, even in his worst seasons, and his defense is great (overrated or not). Also, don't discount the value he has working with the pithing staff. He's like another pitching coach on the field. I have no doubt that he's aided in the development of Backe, Lidge, Qualls, Wheeler, Oswalt, and others. (I think I may have read it somewhere too).

I think Estrada would be a mistake, and Molina might command more money and years than the Astros are willing to commit. For right now, Ausmus is still our best option.

Jason said...

Oh, and Quintero has shown nothing to lead us to believe that he would be any better than Ausmus offensively. So that's a HUGE gamble to go with him as your #1 catcher. I'd rather see him in the backup catcher role for a full season first.

By the way, I've heard rumors that the Evil Empire might be shopping Posada to cut payroll and help their pitching staff. I know online rumors are notoriously bad, but it's interesting. Now, there's a guy I would take over Ausmus. The problem is that the Yankmees would likely want more in return than the Astros would be willing to trade.