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Astros Sitting Out Free Agency, But Not Done

The Astros don't have much money. At least, the budget seems to be maxed out right now unless they move some of their high-priced stars. That doesn't mean Jeff Luhnow is done building this team.

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Take the trade last week that sent Mark Melancon to the Red Sox for a starting shortstop and a potential starting pitcher. Before that trade happened, I was convinced Luhnow was going to have to make a run at a mediocre, expensive stopgap shortstop like Yuni Betancourt or Ronny Cedeno.

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He changed my thinking quickly by making a great, under-the-radar move, flipping a solid asset for two solid pieces. it's a gamble, as Jed Lowrie has to pan out for the Astros to make out well in this one. But, he's basically got a year to prove he can stay healthy and hit enough to stick there. His defense will be a question, but if he hits as well as he did in the minors, that'll be minimized. 

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What's left for Houston to do? I'm sure they'll still be looking to trade Carlos Lee, Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. After the haul the Padres got for Mat Latos, the Astros could also consider flipping Bud Norris to someone looking for a middle of the rotation starter.

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All I know at this point is that Luhnow should come up with a creative way to finish out the roster.

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