I'm currently looking at Brian Bixler's minor league numbers and puzzling out why the Astros would even consider giving him a 40-man roster spot. True, he may have the beating of Angel Sanchez, and maybe his glove work is solid at shortstop. He started off as a pure shortstop in the Pirates system, but over the years he has been shunted around the infield and outfield in order to pick up at bats.â†µ
This morning Brian McTaggart wrote that it would take upwards of $6m to get Clint Barmes wrapped up, and that number should surprise no-one. I said that Wade should jump at locking Barmes up for two-years $12m, giving Jonathan Villar another year and a half seasoning in the minors.â†µ
The Astros have until 23 November to decide to offer Barmes salary arbitration, and will probably do so, earning them a compensation pick if he signs elsewhere, due to his Type B free agent status.â†µ
Bixler meanwhile looks like a rich man's Joe Inglett. He has show decent OBP skills in the minor leagues, and has shown decent if declining speed (145/46 SB/CS) but he turned 29 last month.â†µ
To top this off the ownership switch, or lack thereof, will complicate the Astros offseason even further, with Jim Crane installed too late to make the organisational changes he will likely bring in. By December it will be too late to dump Ed Wade and any GM change may have to wait until after the trade deadline in 2012.