Originally Posted by traderumor
The Astros are a shambles. There are those that just love a good "blow it up," and perhaps in some markets that can make a little more sense than doing it in a St. Louis type market. There is a lot of money to be made in Houston, yet the Astros seem content to play poor man's baseball. I think they are setting their franchise back for the entire decade, not just a few years.
Houston is the 5th largest metro area in the United States (ahead of places like Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami and Boston) with a population of over 6 million. They (unlike New York, Chicago and LA -- 3 of the 4 cities ahead of them on that list) have no competition in their market from other ballclubs and a new-ish indoor facility at their disposal.
There's absolutely no reason why this franchise should be spending less than $90-$100 million on payroll annually. The idea that "we're rebuilding" is an excuse to drop payroll to the sub-$30m level is, frankly, a joke. You can engage in player development, smart drafting and smart trading while still paying some FAs to put a competitive ballclub on the field.