Breaking News!!! X 2

Gotcha with the headline eh?  Not really breaking news.. but it is news.  Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte both filed for free agency.  Not like anyone is surprised.  No this doesn’t mean that they won’t be coming back to the Astros next season.  It just means they filed for free agency.  That’s it.  The chances of them coming back this season are as good as they’ll ever be and nothing has really changed since the end of the season.  Link

And the second set of Astros news…  The Astros declined the 18 million dollar option on Jeff Bagwell instead, buying out his contract for 7 million.  What does this mean?  It just officially means that Bagwell, the best Astros player ever, will never play baseball as a member of the Houston Astros.  Not like that’s anything new.  We’ve pretty much known that since he said he couldn’t play after spring training.  This is just making it official.  Expect Bagwell to announce his retirement from baseball in the near future.  Link

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Congrats to the Cardinals

First off let me say that IE7 *****!  I don’t normally use it, but for some reason I was now… had a long nice post and decided to insert and image and whamo.. message gone. 

Just wanted to say congrats to the Cardinals for their total domination of the Weaver_1 Tigers.  I said all along that I thought the Cardinals were the worst team in the playoffs, but they have shown everyone that it doesn’t matter how bad or good you were in the regular season… once the playoffs starts, the slate is clean.  Weaver was totally outstanding.  8 innings of 4 hit 2 run ball against the Tigers… nice job. 

Even though I didn’t want the Cardinals to win and didn’t think they would win… Them winning isn’t all that bad.  Them winning stops the streak of National league teams not only losing in the World Series… but being swept out of the World series.  The Cardinals who were swept by the Red Sox 2 years ago get some paybacks this year by putting it to the Tigers.  Good for the NL.  It’s also good that the "worst division in baseball" took the World Series from the "best division in baseball."  And the best part of this all (for me)?  The end of the World Series means free agency starts sooner.  15 days after today FA will start and the Astros can start trying to make some moves to bolster the ranks of a poor hitting club. 

So once again, congrats to the Cards, the 2006 World Series Champions.  Boy do I hate you. 😉  I’m sure Fox is happy that they can now air something that will actualy get decent ratings. 

Biggio 2006

My bro asked me to get stats for Biggio compared to the other 2nd basemen in the league.  So here ya go. 

Here’s how Biggio fared offensively with all of the 2nd basemen with 400 at bats or more(13th being the worst).   

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO OBP SLG AVG
7th 5th T 6th 9th 3rd T12th 4th 8th 5th 9th 8th 12th 8th 13th

And the salaries for those 13 players.

[Sorted from highest to lowest]

Name

Salary

J Kent $10,453,382
R Durham $7,000,000
J Vidro $7,000,000
C Biggio $4,000,000
M Giles $3,850,000
O Hudson $2,300,000
J Carroll $700,000
C Utley $500,000
A Miles $350,000
J Castillo $348,000
D Uggla $327,000
J Barfield $327,000
B Phillips $327,000

Just a side note.. many of these players are still early in their careers and not making the $ that they are worth. 

Sheff to the ‘Stros?

From here.

The Yankees are looking for takers for Gary Sheffield, and the Houston Astros are thought to be interested.

A major-league official confirmed the Yankees are trying to trade Sheffield, whose contract includes a $13 million team op tion for 2007. Although Sheffield — who turns 38 next month and missed most of 2006 with a wrist injury — would seem unlikely to command $13 million on the free- agent market, his original deal called for $4.5 million of the $13 million to be deferred, making him more affordable (it is unclear if that portion was adjusted when Sheffield got upset about the deferments in spring training 2005).

By trading Sheffield, the Yankees can get something in return rather than just allowing him to become a free agent.

The Yankees would have to have a deal in place by the early- November deadline to pick up the option to avoid an outfield logjam. There seems to be no room for Sheffield, with the late- season and playoff move to first base not very successful and outfielders Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu all under contract.

The Astros could use Shef field’s power, if it returns. Despite a close left-field fence at its home park, Houston had just 39 homers against left-handed pitching, the fourth-lowest total in the NL, and Astros cleanup hitters had a .484 slugging percentage, 10th in the league.

Houston may have relief pitching to trade, possibly including embattled closer Brad Lidge, who is eligible for arbitration.

Umm… I wouldn’t trade Lidge straight up for Sheffield.  Yes Sheff would be a good addition to the offense(if he stays healthy), but he’s getting close to 40 and missed most of last season.  Not real sure how his attitude would gel with the Astros.  If the Astros can’t make a deal to get Lee or Soriano(or some other decent bat through free agency) and they could get Sheff without trading away any young talent… then I would be okay with it.  But I still have hope for Lidge… I still have hope for Ensberg…  Trading away our young unproven pitching for a guy who will probably retire soon is not worth it in my opinion.  If I read that correctly, there’s a chance that the Yankees will just buy out his contract and make him a free agent…  That seems like the better option to me.  Take a chance by not trading for him and see if you can pick him up through FA.  Of course through FA, he might not want to come to the Astros… but if that’s the case, then I don’t see why we’d want him here anyways. 

Bidge.. still close to signing a deal…

You know the news is slow on your team when you go to the team homepage and 2 of the last 6 headlines are basically the same thing.  Yes, Biggio is still close to a deal with the Astros.  We know that!  Give us some news.  But from the article I read this :

The issue is money. Biggio will be receiving a raise from his $4 million salary of 2006. How much of a raise appears to be a sticking point.

A raise?  Are you serious?  Now I’m a huge Biggio fan and the thought of him possibly playing for a team(no matter how small of a chance it is) turns my stomach…  but a raise?  What is this, an appreciation raise for past service and for being a cornerstone of the organization for the best part of 20 years?  He definitely doesn’t deserve a raise based on performance.  Biggio had one of his worst offensive seasons of his career last season…  Of his 15 seasons that he’s played more than 140 games, here’s how his stats last season added up(with 1st being his best season in that category and last being his worst season in that category). 

R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO OBP SLG AVG
14th Last 10th T-Last 6th 11th 12th 13th 4th Last 9th Last

Then you take into consideration that Biggio is more than likely not going to play 140+ games next season.  Look for Biggio to get less starts once he hits the big 3K in hits.  Next season will be sort of a out with the old, in with the new at 2nd base, bringing in Chris Burke to get more starts while Biggio(while still getting more starts than Burke) gets more off days.  Biggio is one of my favorite players ever…  but he’s getting old…  His defense isn’t what it used to be and his arm is very weak… even for a second basemen.  His home run totals are still good(21 last season) but he’s also benefiting from the Crawford Boxes in left field while at home.  I just don’t see how based on his performance that he could even realistically expect to get a raise… I don’t know what the Astros are offering, but I can only assume it’s at least 4 million.  I never would have imagined it would have taken his long to get Biggio signed again. 

Update on Bidge

Excerpt found here.

Axelrod said he thinks another client, Craig Biggio, will end up bridging what is currently a financial gap and re-sign with the Astros while also getting a personal-services deal like Roger Clemens that extends into his post-career. However, Axelrod said he had spoken with Biggio, and that if matters cannot be worked out fairly, Biggio would leave the only team for which he has played and seek the 70 hits he needs to reach 3,000 somewhere else.

"He said to me that if they don’t value me enough and I have to go to St. Louis, Chicago or New York to play on a winner and hit milestones, then I will do it," Axelrod said.

The last few lines are kind of scary as an Astros fan… but I’m pretty sure that’s just agent speak and positioning by Axelrod.  Don’t think Biggio won’t be an Astro next season.  I don’t see any scenario where the Astros don’t watch Biggio get his 3,000 hits in a Houston uniform.  Hopefully we’ll see Biggio in the Houston organization for years to come after his playing career as well.  Just guessing, but I’d bet Biggio signs a contract before the World Series is over with…  if not then next week at the latest.