Great day for Astros

Can you imagine how different the Astros’ winter would have been had Jose Valverde accepted arbitration and LaTroy Hawkins accepted their contract offer? The Astros would have liked to have been able to bring Hawkins back and took a huge risk by offering arbitration to Valverde, but the departure of both opened doors and wallets.

Astros general manager Ed Wade signed Brandon Lyon, Pedro Feliz and Brett Myers, traded for Matt Lindstrom and picked up two draft picks, including a first-round pick. Things couldn’t have worked out much better for the Astros, who would have been hamstrung had Valverde accepted arbitration.

Valverde winds up not making as much in 2010 as he would have with the Astros, but he got the comfort of a two-year deal with an option. The Astros got what they wanted, too, and even more. With Spring Training around the corner, the Astros are hitting the finish line of the Hot Stove season with a smile on their faces.

“I thought we entered into the Valverde situation in a win-win situation,” Wade said. “If he had accepted arbitration, we would have ended up with the best free-agent closer on the market. As it turned out, we were able to satisfy the back end of the bullpen with Lyon and Lindstrom and to score draft picks, particularly a first-round draft pick, is very satisfying.

“I like what he did for us and we would have loved to have him back, but at end of the day we have to look at end results and we felt that being able to add two additional draft picks in 2010 is a pretty favorable conclusion for us.”

2 Comments

What happened with Valverde is the best that could have happened. These 2 extra picks should improve our farm system instantly. Right now the Lyon deal doesn?t look good; however it seems like he was borderline dominant in the second half of the season last year. If he manages to go from ?borderline dominant? to established dominant closer, $5 millions/year will be a good deal. Let?s review: we lose Tejada, Valverde and Hawkins (probably around $22-25 millions had they stayed with the ?stros), but we get Lyon, Lindstrom, Myers, Feliz (total around $16 millions), two extra picks, and we save around $6-8 millions that we can use on arb eligible players. Sounds good to me.

I’m not sure how the club views buyouts as terms of which years to put them, but I added Myers’ $2 million buyout to this year because that’s guaranteed that if he plays one year.

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