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Check That: Astros Paying Most Of Berkman's Salary

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Contrary to earlier reports, the Houston Astros will be paying the majority of Lance Berkman's salary owed to him until 2011. They will also receive prospects Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes.

Per’s Buster Olney:

Heard this: The Astros are picking up a lot of the money owed to Lance Berkman in their agreement with the Yankees, and the NYY won’t be giving up any major prospects.

Uh, what? Thought the financial savings supposed to be the reason for this deal.

Call this an easy chance for a pessimistic rant. Yes. Why let such an opportunity pass by untouched?

I get it. Rebuilding is good, and the Astros are starting to buy into it. They’re getting back decent prospects, but nobody spectacular, which is disheartening. Sure, Berkman's asking price isn't what it used to be, but should the organization have thought about that first? Seems like the Astros ignored the open window right until the thing slammed shut. It’s embarrassing.

Lance Zierlein’s got the right idea here, by the way. We’re definitely in the same boat.

Roy and Berkman were huge names just 2 years ago and now you get relatively little for them & you pay $ to trade them. Looks really bad.

A deal like this should have been made a few years ago. We can make all of Drayton McClane’s excuses for him. It’s nice to try to win and to hold onto beloved players… for the sake of holding on to beloved players. Yeah, right.

Think of the talent that the Astros could have ushered into their farm system had they realized that missing the playoffs wasn’t worth, well, this. Here we are, at the end of the day. This is the time to evaluate if these two players, for whom I have the utmost respect, were worth keeping.

Are you feeling emotional? I certainly haven’t detected any tears on the Oswalt front, and while losing Berkman hurts, it was inevitable. Was it all worth it? That’ll be a resounding ‘no.’

Brett Wallace is a nice talent. He turned the Oswalt trade from sour to sweet. But had they pulled the plug earlier, Houston could have gotten more. The Berkman trade isn’t even worth discussing further. Unless the organization has some hidden, ingenious plan behind the move (if they do, I'll recant my piece), it’s that bad.

Maybe this is the problem with Houston sports. We’re attached to the players to the point that we lose sight of what’s smart and right and good for the team. Keeping Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman around for a few cruddy seasons wasn’t a good decision. They had their shot, which, by the way, might have been the best chance this team will have for a while, now that they’ve gone soft, traded franchise players for mediocre talent and accepted it as a ‘success.’

We shouldn't be happy with this. We deserve more than this. So do Berkman and Oswalt. They deserve to leave a team with a bright future, not a team merely claiming to have one.

Think about the current state of the Astros... and then watch this.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.