Astros eager to improve club this offseason
With free agency set to start early next week, the Astros are already doing their homework in preparation of being active in the market, general manager Jeff Luhnow said.
The Astros, coming off a season in which they improved by 19 wins, are seeking to upgrade their bullpen, corner infield and add some power to the outfield and are willing to increase their payroll by at least $20 million more to achieve those goals.
Luhnow said the Astros have already targeted a list of players they want to go after and will be soon reaching out to their agents to express interest.
“It’s just a matter of how much interest they’re going to get and what kind of timetable they want to run,” Luhnow said. “But we’ll be there, we’ll be involved.”
Luhnow has already reached out to about a dozen teams and had relatively in-depth conversations about offseason needs while starting to explore the trade market. By the time Luhnow gets to the General Mangers’ Meetings in Phoenix early next month, he’ll have talked to every team prior to getting a chance to sit face-to-face with some teams.
“There’s been some turn over in front offices,” Luhnow said. “We think we know what players might be available, but you never know until the season’s over and people are taking stock of their areas of improvement and where they have excess and you never know where there’s going to be a match. You’ve just go to talk to everybody.”
When asked if the Astros would be active this offseason, Luhnow didn’t hesitate.
“I think we will sign a free agents, and I think we’ll make a trade or two,” he said. “That’s status quo for us. I don’t have anything necessarily in the works or specifically in mind right now. You definitely think of ways you improve your team every conversation you have.”