ESPN’s Jayson Stark has a new notes column up, and he votes with the popular consensus in thinking that the Astros should look to deal veterans. Stark managed to get a few words out of Ed Wade, which is almost as difficult as getting Texans GM Rick Smith to comment on any specific player, and naturally the results were vague:
1) As GM Ed Wade pointed out, the Astros actually have a better record this year (18-30) than they had in late May last year (17-34) — and last year’s team went 59-52 the rest of the way. 2) Until the Astros’ sale to Jim Crane is approved (most likely sometime in July), Wade can’t even have a conversation with the new owner about his philosophy on team-building.
But at a time in which his club is obviously rebuilding, Wade says he expects to take the same approach this July that he took last July: “Anything that builds the type of depth that will get us where we need to be, it would make sense to explore.”
Awesome, Ed! Make sure everyone knows your club is only a .500 record away from mediocrity rather than horrendous!
Stark speculates further on Hunter Pence, mentioning that he’s heard the Braves, Phillies, and Orioles. He also mentions that the Phillies might not be able to afford Pence’s salary as their payroll is already rather bloated, though I’m sure Wade would be happy to help his friends in red with another cash bailout.
Opposing executives expect Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Clint Barmes, and Bill Hall to be available at the deadline. Rodriguez could fetch a pretty penny, but don’t look for those last three to bring in much unless they start turning it around. Pence is another matter, as the prevailing wisdom around him seems to be that the Astros can’t trade him because he is their best player. And? That hasn’t done much for them so far. Jim Bowden has it right, it’s in the Astros best interests to deal Pence if they can command a good package for him.