Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The bad news was inevitable: We re-signed Brad Ausmus. But it gets worse: We're giving him $7.5 million for two years. Forget the money (which is enormous) — the fact that we'll have a 39-year-old catcher in 2007 is not good news. To his credit, he performed admirably last season, putting up very good numbers for an old, "defense-oriented" catcher. He managed to have good at-bats and work walks while the rest of our team (Taveras, Lane) couldn't take a walk if their lives depended on it. Still, the man cannot hit for power. And at 38 at 39, no one's expecting a sudden surge. He may work wonders with Pettitte and Oswalt, and he may bring Clemens back … in May. But I wish we wouldn't have signed him, though everyone knew we would.

Ever optimistic, I saved the good news for last. Rotoworld.com has us bidding for Nomar, but as a left-fielder. Nomar, who has said that he's willing to switch positions for a contender, would be a great signing for us. He could play shortstop in place of Everett, or he could play left field if/when Bagwell gets hurt. This guy can still swing the bat, and he'd put up great numbers in the Juicebox. Purpura needs to sign Nomar, not just for the offense he'd bring us, but to show everyone that he can make a good acquisition. It would make up for the Palmeiro, Lamb and Ausmus debacles. I'd even overpay Nomar and give him $16 million over two years. We must get something done this offseason.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I'm a bit skeptical about Nomar. He hasn't shown that he can stay healthy over the last two seasons, and he could be a risk in that way. Plus, who knows how he'd do in the OF? He has never played away from the left side of the infield. If the Astros could get him for a good price, he'd be worth the risk, but I don't think it makes sense to overpay, especially when there are cheaper options available. Rondell White is one such option, although I know he too is intimately familiar with a DL.

Also, from what I hear, no one is considering Nomar for SS. It's just too demanding physically, and teams don't want to take a chance that he'll break down. Most teams are probably considering him for OF or 1B. I hope they can sign him, but it's not without it's risks.

Remember, the Astros seem to make some of their best roster moves in mid-season, so even if the "big bat" doesn't come now, it could certainly come later.