The more I think about Rondell White, the less I like him. We already have Berkman, Lane, Taveras, Palmeiro, Burke and Scott (whose status on the ML team should be all but cemented). Berkman and Burke will play occasionally in the infield, but those six are a very good outfield as it stands. White would significantly decrease playing time for Scott and Burke, and his potential talent isn't much of an upgrade.
Jack recommends we try Burke at shortstop: I really support this idea. Burke may have a breakout year in '06: I think it's important to find ABs for him.
The big question is: What will we do with Adam Everett? I've heard his name in trade rumors (to the Braves, of all teams … won't happen now that they have Renteria … ) Can you think of a team who would even consider him at short? Maybe the Mets, since they're always trying to catch up on defense. Maybe some suckers like the Royals or Twins. I'm sure the Red Sox would love to have him back, but only as a late-inning defensive replacement which, unfortunately for him, is where I see his career heading.) Defense is great — and vital for his position — but one must be able to hit to stay in the league, and AE has not shown ability to succeed in this endeavor.
If we trade him, I hope we have another playe who could fill in at short, someone besides Burke and Bruntlett. I would support Timmy if he signed Nomar with the intention of trading AE for a reliever or decent minor league starter. That way, Nomar, Burke or Bruntlett could all play short, and Ausmus would be the only "hole" in our lineup. Check this out:
CF Taveras - SS Burke - LF Berkman - 3B Ensberg - 1B Bagwell - RF Lane - 2B Biggio - C Ausmus. Or:
CF Taveras - 2B Biggio - LF Berkman - 3B Ensberg - SS Nomar - 1B Bagwell - RF Lane - C Ausmus.
If we somehow eliminate AE from our lineup, the Ausmus deal suddenly looks less horrific.
It has come to my attention that Jason LaRue, who's a free agent after 2006, will not be in an Astros uniform anytime soon. This sucks … I was hoping we'd get him for the second half of his peak years.