Ok, so I know it’s football season, but baseball was stealing headlines this week.
Teams were very busy at the MLB Winter Meetings in Orlando, that is, all teams but the Houston Astros.
The season is still a couple of months away (and it couldn’t come soon enough), but this was a perfect time to build your team, sign some big name free agents and get a little excitement in the fan base.
The Astros did none of that.
The Red Sox signed Houston-native Carl Crawford AND traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The White Sox resigned 1B Paul Konerko. The Yankees offered a contract to LHP Cliff Lee. The Nationals of all teams signed Jayson Werth.
The Astros signed lefty Ryan Roland-Smith.
Let that sink in for a little bit.
Out of all the big names they could have gotten, they signed Ryan Roland-Smith. He was great last season in helping the Seattle Mariners lose 100+ games. He will be competing for the 5th starters spot as he tries to improve on his 1-10 record and 6.75 ERA.
WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? 6.75 ERA? Wow.
I know it’s a tough economy, but it’s not like the Astros are losing money. It’s a nice ballpark and fans still come out to watch, so I am guessing you have some money to spend on good players. Somebody, anybody…
Well, at least General Manager Ed Wade thinks the Australian has upside…
"Ryan has starter’s experience and has had success in the past," said Wade. "He struggled last year, but our scouts think he is capable of bouncing back. At the very least, he can compete for a spot in our rotation."
They are trying to sell the franchise. More attractive players would help. Nothing against Rowland-Smith, but he’s not exactly the "star-power" Astros fans and potential buyers were thinking about.