H-Town Sports

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Friday, July 28, 2006

OK, Purpura, I've Done the Thinking, You Make the Calls

The USA Today refers to an Astros' representative who says that the Astros are all hands on deck in pursuit of Alfonso Soriano. Bowden is always fiending for the 'big splash', and I do not see any way that the Nats do not deal Soriano. Houston is desperate and has a ton of young talent to trade, so there is definitely the potential for a match. I am going to run along these lines and give you my recipe for The Astros' Last Stand:

1. Trade Preston Wilson to anyone who will take him. Some contender (I am talking to you, Brian Cashman) will take him for a bag of balls, and you cannot play baseball without balls.

2. Trade Jason Hirsh, Charlton Jimerson and a third quality prospect (anyone not named Pence, Albers, Patton or Nieve) for Alfonso Soriano. Bowden LOVES 'toolsy' OF (see Marlon Byrd, Wily Mo Pena, Austin Kearns, Reggie Taylor). That is a steep price to pay for a rental, but if you are going to go all in, then it is now or never. Soriano is the best player on the market.

3. Trade Brad Lidge and Jason Lane to Arizona for Luis Gonzalez, Craig Counsell and a decent prospect. I love Lidge, and personally, I would fire Jim Hickey, who has not really developed a young pitcher on his watch, despite working with Buchholz, Nieve, Rodriguez, Astacio, etc. However, Hicke's failure has resulted in Lidge looking all too much like Derrick Turnbow and Francisco Cordero. Stephen Drew is ready to man the SS position for the D-Backs, making Counsell expendable. He is going to have to get clearance from the doctors, as he is recovering from a broken rib, but he can be released from the DL this weekend. Gonzalez is aging, but he has hit very well lately, and with the emergence of Quentin, the D-Backs can absorb the loss in their OF, and they have gone all year without a shut-down closer. They will take a flyer on Lidge to replace Jorge Julio (who replaced Jose Valverde). Call up Nieve, and put either Nieve or Albers in Buchholz's rotation spot, with the other guy going to the back of the bullpen.

The result:

Soriano CF
Biggio 2B
Berkman 1B
Gonzalez LF
Huff RF
Ensberg 3B
Counsell SS
Ausmus C

Bench: Lamb, Burke, Scott, Palmeiro, Munson, Everett

Rotation: Oswalt, Clemens, Pettitte, Backe, Albers

Bullpen: Qualls, Wheeler, Nieve, Springer, Miller, Borkowski

Make either Qualls or Wheeler the closer. Send Taveras down to AAA until September 1, when he can be brought up to pinch-run. You added a ton of offense, without losing Hunter Pence or Troy Patton. What am I missing?


Blogger Laurence said...

Prediction 1: Ensberg is done for the season.

Prediction 2: Huff will sink and stay below 200.

Fri Jul 28, 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...


I was thinking the same thing until the report in today's paper about his batting practice stint yesterday. I'm hopng that the Astros will make him go down to Round Rock for a few games to prove he's healthy, rather than simply taking his word for it.

As for #2, I'm hated the Huff trade from Day One, but .200 is an awfully low number. I do wonder how automatic he is at 3B. Will the trade motivate the Astros to insist upon him playing everyday and hitting cleanup, even if he continues to stink?

Fri Jul 28, 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Bert said...

For scenario #2, ESPN is reporting that the 'Stros refuse to move either Jason Hirsh or outfielder Hunter Pence. I just don't see how Purpura thinks he's going to aquire the jewel of this trade deadline without giving up anybody of value.

Sat Jul 29, 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Word. There's no way that Soriano or Tejada is coming to H-Town unless Pence or Hirsh leaves town. What does the move of Buchholz down to Round Rock mean for trade possibilities?

Sat Jul 29, 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Buchhohlz has been pretty awful lately. That's the only reason he was demoted.

Maybe Ensberg's rehab assignment gives other teams a chance to see if he's healthy before Aug 1.

Sat Jul 29, 08:08:00 PM  

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