While covering the Houston Astros over the course of a season, you usually hear some pretty crazy things from fans regarding lineup decisions, questioning the manager, who should be sent down etc. etc. You even get those "baseball dads" that call in to one of our shows after their son's baseball practice and think they can manager the Astros better than A.J. Hinch. Of course they can, because back in 1991 if coach would have pitched him, they would have won state, right? Well, I have found one fan with a wild idea that trounces any baseball dad or crazy fan.
I received an email from a man that wanted to only be known as "Chaz" and Chaz has what he calls a "blueprint" for the Astros offseason. That "blueprint" would bring Bryce Harper and Jacob deGrom to Houston. These numbers and words may be completely off base but lets dig in, shall we?
"The Astros have 85.5 million in pay roll flexibility with the club declining option on Will Harris and Brian McCann so step one is sign Bryce Harper to 7 years 210 million. That's 30 million a year which will be tough but it might be possible with the way free agency is heading. Harper is the whole key to the plan as he gives you flexibility to make other big moves."
"Step two: make a play for Jacob deGrom and offer your biggest prospect as the main chip. That deal would include, Kyle Tucker OF #1 prospect age 21, Corbin Martin RHP #6 prospect age 22, Framber Valdez LHP #11 prospect age 24, Abraham Toro-Hernandez 3B #21 prospect age 21. The Mets would send deGrom and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. d'Arnaud would help at depth behind the plate to compliment Martin Maldonado assuming you sign him and lose McCann. Your rotation would now be: Verlander, deGrom, Cole, McCullers (unless hurt) and you bring up Forrest Whitley. Josh James, Collin McHugh, or Brad Peacock could also slide somewhere into that rotation. Your lineup: Springer, Altuve, Bregman, Harper, Correa, Gurriel, Reddick, White (DH) and Maldonado/d'Arnaud."
That's a lot to take in, Chaz. Could it work? Possibly. Will it happen? I highly doubt it. The Astros front office did a great job of not giving up top prospects when acquiring Maldonado and Ryan Pressly at the trade deadline this season. I don't see them relinquishing prospects to trade for deGrom when the Astros pitching staff is basically returning everyone except Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton who are both free agents. McHugh, James, Peacock, or even bringing up Whitley would suffice if Morton and Keuchel don't return. Valdez and Tucker both spent good amounts of time at the big league level this season and will most likely have Spring Training invites to essentially make the opening day roster so those prospects won't be traded. As for Bryce Harper, I think we all know that signing just isn't going to happen. This offseason will be interesting for the Astros but I don't think it will be THAT interesting as the "blueprint" points out.
When you think you've heard it all from crazy fans, there's always going to be a Chaz waiting to blow your mind with baseball insight.