Thursday, March 20, 2008

'08 RAPs: Houston Astros

Houston had a very busy off-season. Most of the moves that Ed Wade made focused on improving the bullpen, which he did very effectively. However, signing Kaz Matsui to a ridiculously bad contract was a huge mistake.
Here are the Astros moves this winter:
-Signed outfielder Reggie Abercrombie to a one-year contract.
-Signed pitchers Shawn Chacon, Chad Paronto, Doug Brocail, and Geoff Geary to a one-year contracts.
-Signed pitchers Brian Moehler and Runelvys Hernandez,infielder David Newhan, and outfielder Nick Gorneault to minor league contracts.
-Signed pitcher Oscar Villarreal to a two-year contract.
-Acquired pitcher Jose Valverde from the Arizona Diamondbacks for infielder Chris Burke and pitchers Juan Gutierrez and Chad Qualls.
-Signed second baseman Kazuo Matsui to a three-year contract.
-Acquired shortstop Miguel Tejada from Baltimore for outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Troy Patton, Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate and third baseman Mike Costanza.

Pitching Staff:
SP1: Roy Oswalt
SP2: Woody Williams
SP3: Wandy Rodriguez
SP4: Brandon Backe
SP5: Chris Sampson/Shawn Chacon
CL: Jose Valverde
SUM: Doug Brocail/Geoff Geary/Oscar Villarreal

C: Brad Ausmus/J.R. Towles
1B: Lance Berkman
2B: Mark Loretta
SS: Miguel Tejada
3B: Ty Wigginton
LF: Carlos Lee
CF: Michael Bourn/Reggie Abercrombie
RF: Hunter Pence

Easiest- The Astros will finish under .500.
Boldest- The Astros Bullpen will be among the top 5 in ERA in the NL.
Team MVP/Best Season- Carlos Lee (35-30 HRs, 100-115 RBI)
Best Pitcher- Roy Oswalt (10-12 wins, sub-3.75 ERA)
Breakout Player- Ty Wigginton (28-32 HR)

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