Can’t you just hear the conversation between Scott Boras and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez right before the World Baseball Classic?
Boras: Hey Pudge, do you think you have anything left?
Boras: I need you go from maybe to yes because if you have a great WBC, I can get some stupid team to give you a contract
Rodriguez: That’s all I needed to hear. I will have a great WBC
So after that conversation, Rodriguez listened to his agent and is having himself one hell of a WBC. So good that he has fooled the Houston Astros into giving him a 1 year $1.5MM contract. I don’t get this move by the Astros.
In my opinion the Astros will finish anywhere from 3rd to 5th in the NL Central. They are in the Brewers and Reds group that will finish somewhere in the middle of the division. Besides Oswalt their pitching staff consists of Mike Hampton, Brian Moehler and Russ Ortiz. Does anyone really need me to comment on that staff? Signing Rodriguez, who looked washed up when he was with the Yankees (.219/2/3 in 33 games) makes them what? An 80 win team instead of a 78 win team?
The Astros need to get younger not older. I understand that J.R. Towles hit only .137/4/16 in 54 games last season and he has looked terrible this spring hitting .153/1/1 in 13 AB’s. However, he was ranked the Astros #1 best prospect by Baseball Prospectus in 2008 and he is only 25 years old. According to Baseball Prospectus Towles “should hit .280-.300 annually with 10-15 home runs.”
Why not give Towles a shot to play everyday? If he fails, the Astros know they will need to address the catcher situation in 2010. If he succeeds, the Astros will have their catcher of the future. Now if Pudge hits his .260/7/58 like he probably will, then the Astros are in the same place at the end of the season that they were yesterday. It just doesn’t make sense.
Prospects are like lottery tickets. Either they are going to hit the jack pot or just be another 1 of a million losing tickets. The Astros decided not to even play the lottery in 2009. Rodriguez fooled the Astros into thinking he could help them in 2009 when the fact is he really can’t.