Well, we are right in the midst of the craziness that surrounds the July 31st MLB trading deadline. You have your share of teams making moves to increase their chances of winning (you go Pittsburgh Pirates). You have teams that are sellers because of an utterly disappointing season (that’s you, Miami Marlins). There is one team that is wheeling and dealing now in the hopes of contending in two or three years. I am fascinated by all of the moves being made by the Houston Astros.
Over the last four weeks, the ‘Stros have parted with Carlos Lee, J.A. Happ, Brett Myers, Brandon Lyon and Wandy Rodriguez. In return, Houston received a total of 15 players, most of them prospects. Even if only five of them become regular players for the Astros, 2012 will be known as the Summer the team built their foundation for success. In addition to all of the action on the big league level, Houston drafted Shortstop Carlos Correa with the first pick in this year’s draft. Correa at age 17 already has had 95 at bats in the Gulf Coast League. First year General Manager Jeff Luhnow has an excellent background having spent nine seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. The organization seems to be in capable hands with Luhnow in charge. Houston already has budding stars in Jose Altuve and Lucas Harrell. The drafting of Correra and the stockpiling of prospects indicates that this team is feeling giddy about its short and long-term future.
In 2013, the Astros move into the rugged American League West. The well-regarded organization of the Rangers and the young superstars of the A’s and Angels will pose problems for the newcomers. However, I expect Houston to contend very shortly and give those guys a run for the money at this time next season.
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