Ed Wade met with the Houston media yesterday to talk about the team’s Winter Meetings thusfar. MLB.com and Astros scribe Brian McTaggart helpfully transcribed much of what Wade says, and it’s an interesting bit of quotes.
(on trades) “I feel better about where we right now from the potential of being able to do something than maybe I did before the tender deadline, before we had a chance to come down here and talk about what our situation is,”
(on free agents) “There’s always the potential for things to get done, but there’s nothing I would say is on the near horizon right now,”
Translation: the Astros continue to shop for trades first rather than free agents, which is pretty consistent with every breath coming out of the team before they left for Florida.
(on the payroll possibly going down) “We have guidelines, and if we make smart decisions we’ll be OK,” Wade said. “That’s the best way I can say it. We know what our numbers are. I think Drayton’s showing some real significant payroll flexibility on our number. We’re not walking around with blank checks in our pocket, but at the same time, if we could do certain things in an intelligent fashion, I think we have a chance to get better.”
I read this as “yes, we have a cap, and yes, it’s lower than last years.” Your mileage may vary. Again, not anything that wasn’t already rumored to be true before the team sent it’s contingency to the Meetings.
“That’s sometimes easier said than done. I’ve been asked about good players. I’ve had teams ask me about Wandy Rodriguez, they’ve asked me about Hunter Pence, they’ve asked me about Michael Bourn. They’ve asked about the better players on our club, and it’s nice to know there’s a level of interest there, but it doesn’t mean we have to act on it.”
While it was reported that teams had asked the Astros about those three players, nobody has been able to feed a single line about where they would be going, so I kind of neglected posting it. Plus, the way Wade says this, it’s pretty clear he’s not interested in moving the players unless he gets a bounty.