Lets ignore the injuries, however minor they are, to Zack Greinke and Chad Billingsley. Because even without Greinke, Billingsley, Crawford, or Lilly, the Dodgers are still better than the Astros. I suppose it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, the Astros are the worst team in baseball. They will have 3 seasons in a row with at least 100 losses. Only two other organizations have managed 3 (or more) consecutive season with at least 100 losses. The Kansas City Royals are still probably the worst run organization in all of baseball. Somehow in 2003 they managed to put together a winning season. If it weren’t for that season we could have seen 5 straight 100+ loss seasons. The other team is the Blue Jays of 1977, 1978, 1979.
Sept 11, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) chases a ball against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
The Royals still haven’t matched that 2003 season, nor have they come particularly close. The last winning season they had before that was 1993. Once every 10 years. I guess they are due. The Blue Jays have had a little more success climbing out of the gutter, winning the 1992 and 1993 world series. The bright spot for the Astros in all of this is that they are clearly rebuilding. With a projected team salary under 30 million, this team is clearly playing for 2015 and beyond. They still have to follow through on the rebuilding process. Don’t go half way like the Royals and trade all your prospects for one shot at a .500 team in 2014. Save your money for the 2015 season and let the prospects play.
June 07, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros draft pick Carlos Correa waves to the crowd during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The Astros have vastly improved their minor league system. In 2012, Houston had one of the 5 worst systems in baseball. They had a pretty good draft and made some smart trades. Going into 2013 the minor league system ranks in the top 10. It’s not flush with talent and lacks higher level arms. But there are a few bats in there that project pretty well. They may have to get creative to try and figure out how to find pitching in time for 2015. But competing in 2013 and possibly 2014 is out of the question. The good news about a 25 million dollar payroll is that it frees up money when it will be necessary.
I guess everyone in Houston is ok with this team the way it is because I haven’t heard a lot of complaints. The Marlins have definitely had a lot more attention with their fire sale and for good reason. The city of Miami and the Marlins fans were expecting a winning team. The only question I have for the Astros is, why didn’t you sign a few players with question marks that could easily build their value in Houston and become nice trade chips? Maybe they tried to?