This tasty Astros morsel dropped over the weekend: Ken Rosenthal, in his Full Count video, explained that Astros GM Ed Wade wants to keep the core of his Astros in place. What core is that, Ed? MLB Trade Rumors helps out with the transcription:
Hunter Pence is getting expensive – he’ll earn $6.9MM this year with two more arbitration years ahead of him – but Astros GM Ed Wade said that he wants to build around his young players, namely Pence, Brett Wallace, J.A. Happ, and Bud Norris. As much as they need to rebuild, it’s unlikely that new owner Jim Crane will want to blow up the nucleus as his first act.
Problems with this statement? I’ll start.
1) The only one of those players that is actually good and young is Norris, who appears to have turned the corner on his inconsistencies so far, is 26, and won’t be arbitration eligible until 2013.
2) It doesn’t matter how young Pence is—if he starts making $10 million a season, he’s not an asset.
3) Having the new-age Lyle Overbay (or Hal Morris if you prefer) at first base gives the Astros something to show for Roy Oswalt, but it doesn’t actually get them anywhere.
4) The teams that would count Happ as a core player, despite the fact that he is already 28 and hasn’t been as good as his ERA has indicated in the past, include the Astros and the Bridgeport Bluefish
5) Ed Wade probably won’t get to make a decision on this.
Other than that though, I’m pretty sure that the tidbit has some grounding to reality in it. Somewhere.