I'm back from my Texas / Oregon vacation, during which I learned how to ski, got pretty sick, and watched a lot of bowl games. The only real move the Astros made was the Preston Wilson signing. The signing specifics are still kind of confusing, but here's what I understand:
2006 - Preston Wilson makes 4 million.
2007 - The Astros either buy out his contract for 500K or we sign him for '07, '08, and '09 for 24 million dollars total.
It's an interesting deal. You could argue this gives Wilson more incentive to do well this year, since if he dominates we'll have to pay him big bucks for him to stay. However, if he doesn't, it's basically just a 1 year / 4.5 million dollar deal. Compare that to the 1 year / 6.7 million dollar deal Jeromy Burntiz got and I am one happy fan. You can argue that Wilson will have no where to play, but with Bagwell so iffy, the more options you have, the better. Remember our LF platoon of Scott / Burke / Lamb last year? Yuck.
I was looking at Wilson's stats, hoping that he might hit well with runners in scoring position, since he will likely bat after Berkman and Ensberg, our OBP guys. Unfortunately, he doesn't:
Career, bases empty: .269 / .335 / .495
Career, RISP: .250 / .335 / .453
Oh well, it was a nice thought.
We're in a similar situation to where we were last year - it certainly looks like Taveras, Ausmus, and Everett will all start, and combined with the pitcher, that gives us four lineup spots that will likely have an OPS below 700. No matter how good the rest of your lineup is (and ours ain't bad, with Biggio / Berkman / Ensberg / Wilson / Lane), you're going to have a below-average offense with those four spots.