Ed Wade checks in from GM Meetings

Astros general manager Ed Wade and several members of the front office spent a full day attending meetings Tuesday during the abbreviated General Mangers’ Meetings in Chicago, which began Monday and will end Wednesday.

Wade said he is still in the exploratory process of putting the 2010 club together and has had initial conversations with other club about their wants and needs. Activity at the GM Meetings will set the stage for the Winter Meetings next month in Indianapolis.

“We’ve had meetings all day today and also had the opportunity to sit and talk to other clubs, just trying to assess each other’s needs and whether there will be future discussions to be had down the road with regard to trades,” Wade said. “It’s been pretty much routine at this point.”

Wade said he has a “pretty good idea” at what level the payroll will be set next year, but he hasn’t had a chance to firm things up because of his hectic schedule since the end of the regular season, a schedule that has included a lengthy managerial search.

“We’ll have some more internal meetings when we’re all in the same city at the same time,” Wade said. “With the manager search, the trip to the [Arizona] Fall League and this trip, we’ve had little chance to sit down and have those discussions. We have a pretty fair idea at this point in time and we’ll bring it into greater clarity in the next week or so.”

When asked if the Astros were in position to add an impact player in the offseason, Wade wouldn’t give specifics. But I think it’s safe to say not to expect the Astros to make a run at a high-dollar pitcher like John Lackey.

“The definition of impact player, I struggle with that,” Wade said. “We’re going to do what we can to try to improve the ballclub. Without playing labels or trying to fit guys into categories, I think if there’s an opportunity to do something from a standpoint of free agency or trade, we’ll try to make the best decisions.”


Going after Lackey would be overkill anyway; we don’t need another ace, we need guys in the middle of the rotation to shore things up, and spending on an ace, frankly, would be a waste of valuable resources.

I’d much rather take some smart, calculated risks on guys like Noah Lowry and Justin Duchscherer who have proven themselves good pitchers when healthy, aren’t too old, and could come at a reasonable price since they’re coming off injuries.


There you have two guys at the top that are ace-caliber, two guys after them that are above-average if they stay healthy and a solid young talent at the end. Moehler becomes the long-man. That would be ideal, but even just one of the two in the middle of the rotation with Norris and Moehler at the end would be solid. Again, it would be a risk, but it would be a smart risk; Hampton was NOT a smart risk, people who thought he would stay healthy, much less be the #3 we needed were fooling themselves.

And as much as I like Valverde, the $10 million he would likely command would be a huge, huge waste. We could resign Hawkins for half of that or even less and put the rest of it into the rotation or 3B.

I’m with you Ashitaka; Valverde NO. Lackey? out of reach.
Noah, Duchscherer? worth a try depending on how the market is.

An arbitration offer is too risky for Valverde and Tejada, but wouldn’t it be prudent to offer it to Hawkins? I like the Duchscherer and Lowry idea. It seems much safer than an Ortiz and Hampton type of signing.


It seems like some think Paulino deserves a real shot. I can’t disagree with the logic. Backe sure did get more chances than he probably deserved. I also the Astros should try to keep Sampson (even if they overpay). It is obvious that the Astros overpaid for a bullpen that wasn’t as successful as it should have been. Do you think that the they would be better served, by rebuilding (I mean not doing anything except call ups) the bullpen from scratch and signing a stop gap 3b like Chone Figgins?

I don’t know much, but I do know that if you watch some of the better teams (especially in the American league) in baseball. It seems like the Astros have a multitude of quick at-bats and draw very few walks. It would be nice to put some pressure on opposing pitchers vice having their pitch counts in the 80’s late in the game when our bullpen is already out there.

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