Rob Iracane at Walkoff Walk, a favorite site of mine, noticed that the Astros have a sizable payroll. And wasn’t impressed.
I don’t know that I would pin the problems on Ed Wade, though. He didn’t negotiate Carlos Lee’s contract, or Oswalt’s, or Berkman’s, and that’s where most of the money is. Jose Valverde got a one-year deal through arbitration, but it’s a one-year deal. If the team’s not good, Wade should be able to trade Valverde in July.
The Tejada signing hasn’t looked good since May 1. I miss Brad Lidge but I think closers are overrated. Michael Bourn had an awful year but still has a chance to be good and is a good center fielder. But my reading of this is that Drayton McLane thought he had a chance at a championship and told Ed Wade to do what he could to make that happen in 2008, probably as a condition of making Wade general manager. I didn’t agree but I could see the logic — the Central did not appear to have a powerhouse team, so if you could squeeze 88 wins you had a pretty good chance of making the playoffs. That turned out to be wrong on both counts — there were only 86 wins and the Cubs were terrific.
My previous contract table left out Tejada’s money. Fixed now.