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The Astros are still trying to sell, sell, sell

Dec 5, 2011, 8:52 PM EDT

Carlos Lee AP

If the Astros have their way, their most expensive player in their final year in the National League could be rehabbing reliever Brandon Lyon.

Even without a permanent general manager employed, the Astros are at the winter meetings shopping Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Carlos Lee, according to Scott Miller of CBS Sports.

While Rodriguez is still somewhat attractive at $36 million for the next three years, the Astros know there will be no takers for Myers and Lee at their current prices. That’s why they’re willing to pay half of what those two are owed, says Miller. Myers will make $11 million next year, and there’s a $10 million vesting option for 2013 on his contract that includes a $3 million buyout. Lee will make $18.5 million next year in what will finally be the final season of his six-year, $100 million contract.

Myers could be worthy gamble at $6 million-$7 million next year, but the vesting option is likely to scare suitors off. Lee would be a tough sell even at $9 million after hitting .275/.342/.446 last season.

If the Astros due rid themselves of all three, then they could well enter the season with a 25-man roster making $18 million or less. Lyon, at $5.5 million, will probably start off on the disabled list. Their only players eligible for arbitration are J.A. Happ and Humberto Quintero, and those two should combine to earn around $3 million. They’ll probably go bargain hunting for a shortstop and a starting pitcher or two, but they won’t be looking to make any significant commitments.

  1. dondada10 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    At least somebody is having a worse off-season than the Mets.

  2. thekingdave - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:41 PM

    Thank you Ed Wade for not trading Myers at the 2010 deadline and signing him to a pointless contract with a franchise goon nowhere

  3. paperlions - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    Nothing says “come be our GM” like having no talent in the majors or minors…and with a brand new spending cap on the draft and international amateurs, making it much much harder to rebuild your talent base in a hurry.

  4. 78mu - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    Maybe they are trying to clear payroll to sign Pujols, Rollins, Ramirez and now that he wants to come back, Manny. That would make things interesting for the fans after last year.

  5. crnvic847 - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:10 PM

    Can you say “130 losses in 2012?”

  6. xmatt0926x - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    This is a disgrace! I don’t care how big a baseball fan someone may be in Houston. There should be absolutely zero fan support for this team next year. The fans there should spread the word to just stay home and not buy a single ticket. There’s no excuse for a team that’s at least a mid-market in size to strip down the payroll like this. I understand that there are downswings for every franchise, but a $20-30 million payroll in this day and age?

  7. mikedi33 - Dec 6, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    What’s the point? Even at 50 mil they are still going to lose 100 games.
    I rather see young guys learn than someone like Lee who isn’t the future.

  8. oms0004 - Dec 6, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    I am so tired of the “What have you done for me now?” mentality around pro-sports. Baseball operates in a much slower, tedious fashion than the other major pro-sports. This team is more or less FORCED to change the way they operate due to a major rule change coming in exactly 1 year. What would be the point in spending any amount of money for the product this year when every decent fan understands that the whole game will change instantly next season. The Marlins have shown how to save money and use it when their stock sores. Houston is no KC. Houston’s revenue is substantial thanks to prior success and general entertainment value in a MASSIVE market. Prices have not increased beyond inflation in that stadium. The Astros will struggle in terms of baseball, for now (and the foreseeable future). The only way this business will succeed is thanks to cost cutting techniques. Their time will come. Survival is key right now. Future success is only determined by moves made today, and these are the right moves. Unfortunately this article is accurate in pointing out that the moves suggested are not probable.

    • paperlions - Dec 6, 2011 at 7:21 AM

      You are correct….but the same question, “what would be the point in spending any amount of money for the product this year”, is valid for the fans. If you team won’t compete, be fun to watch or have young potential stars (and the Astros go a resounding 0 for 3 on that one), there is no point in going to a game or spending a dime on anything Astros related.

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