At least we got two of the most exciting and dynamic players in the game in last week's dealings. If nothing else, Miguel Tejada and Jose Valverde will sell tickets and generate excitement. I, for one, am DYING to see the 2008 lineup in action. It might not be ideal, but it'll be fun to watch:
Ed Wade had better be the great recruiter he's known to be, because in the span of one month, he has completely gutted our farm system. Of course, many of the players we gave up in those two trades were not exactly prospects: Scott, Burke and Qualls have been on the big-league club for the better part of three years now.
One reason I like the trades is that we aren't simply getting one-year rentals. Valverde and Tejada both are under contract for the next two years. Of course, by being traded in the middle of a multi-year deal, Tejada can now opt out of his remaining year, but I hope the Astros organization and fans can convince him to stay.
A few key items are still missing from the 2008 squad. The most glaring need is starting pitching. Right now it looks as though Backe, Wandy, Sampson and Woody would be in line to start after Oswalt, which is a pretty terrible crew. Not that the talent isn't there, because it is. All those guys are capable of throwing 8 innings of 1-run ball. What's lacking is stability and consistency. I'd venture that all of them are capable of posting ERAs under 4.00, but at the same time they're all fully capable of posting ERAs over 5.50.