“Pudge trade not a white flag for Astros,” it says here.
Uh, about that. Let’s make a list here:
— 10.5 games behind.
— Starting rotation of Oswalt, Wandy, Brian Moehler, Felipe Paulino and Bud Norris.
— Starters including Humberto Quintero and Kaz Matsui.
So, anyway, when Ed Wade says he thinks “we can climb back into things,” I hope he doesn’t actually believe that. I hope he’s thinking that he scored by getting Pudge cheap and turning him into two prospects. I’d be thrilled if he could do something similar with Jose Valverde, except it’s too late to get him cheap. $8 million for a closer — yuck.
Looking at next year, there’s loads of work to do. There are four contracts of significance, and two of them are bad. Carlos Lee has three more years at $18 million per, and Kaz Matsui has one more year at $5 million. Oswalt and Berkman have the other two contracts.
Besides Oswalt and Berkman, there are decent building blocks in Bourn and Pence. There’s going to be a problem at shortstop, and another problem at third base. Maybe Jason Castro will be ready to catch. They might have three starters in Oswalt, Rodriguez and Norris.