Welcome to Houston, Mr. Lee. Oh, and here's your $100 million. Enjoy. Don't eat too many moon pies. Jack and I have had dozens of discussions about Carlos, and here's what we came up with: We'll just have to wait and see. Maybe he'll get fat and become terrible on defense. But maybe he'll hit 40 bombs. Maybe he'll do both.
It's hard to say it was a bad decision to sign him. We had a terrible offense (and still do, I might add), and we got a nice, big run producer. Of course, it's hard to say it was a great signing either. It's a big commitment, both in terms of length and cost, and he's probably not going to improve on either side of the ball.
Make all the arguments you want with statistics (He's never posted a .900 OPS; he's averaged 29 HRs and 100 RBI for the past 7 seasons), the long and short of it is this: he's a slugger, and he will improve our lineup. He is consistent, and we can only hope that he can maintain his talent well into the latter years of this deal.
Woody at 2 for $12 million is decent. Like Rotoworld said, the Astros sure are predictable. Let's hope he can stay healthy and on top of his game.
We'll talk more about Carlos and Woody later (there are FIVE MONTHS til the season starts!), but I want to talk about payroll in this post. I did some research and found that only 8 Astros currently have contracts through 2007: Berkman, Oswalt, Lee, Woody, Biggio, Ausmus, Miller and Palmeiro. The others (Lidge, Ensberg, Everett, Lamb, Wheeler, Lane, Taveras, Qualls, Bruntlett, Burke, Quintero, Hirsh, Nieve, Scott, Borkowski, Buchholz, Sampson, Wandy, etc.) will stay with the organization unless they are nontendered or traded.
Those first 8 players have the following contracts for 2007:
Berkman: $14.5 million
Oswalt: $13 million
Lee: $11 million
Woody: $6 million
Biggio: $5.15 million
Ausmus: $3.5 million
Miller: $1.3 million
Palmeiro: $0.95 million
That's $55.4 million right there. As of now, there are six players who (I think) are due for arbitration. Their 2006 contracts are in parentheses, and my estimate for their salaries in 2007 after that:
Lidge ($3.975 million) —> $5.5 million
Ensberg ($3.8 million) —> $5.5 million
Everett ($1.9 million) —> $4 million
Lamb ($1.7 million) —> $3 million
Wheeler ($930K) —> $1.5 million
Lane ($450K) —> $1 million
Those 6 estimates total $19.5 million. So adding the first 8 players, that's 14 players for $74.9 million
Taveras, Qualls, Bruntlett and Burke (plus Hirsh, Albers, Borkowski, Buchholz, Nieve, Wandy, Sampson, Scott, etc.) are not due for arbitration yet, so they'll each make between $330K and $500K. I really don't know how you calculate the payroll: By the 25-man roster or the 40-man roster or what? In any case, our yougner players' contracts might add up to around $8 million to $10 million, which puts our overall payroll at $85 million. Getting pretty high, huh?
I'll try and post again soon. Gotta head back up to Bryan tomorrow. Had a great four-day holiday with the folks and played a lot if disc golf and bridge. Jack got sick, though... Sick of me beating him at disc golf! Oooooohhhh