Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
Here are the payrolls for the franchises that play in other similarly-sized markets to Houston (from 2012):
1. New York (Yankees: 198 / Mets: 93)
2. Los Angeles (Angels: 154 / Dodgers: 95)
3. Chicago (White Sox: 96 / Cubs 88)
4. Texas Rangers: 120
5. Houston: Projected 2013 25 million
6. Philadelphia: 174
7. Washington DC: 81
You're seriously suggesting that Houston is going to dump ~$60-$70m (the amount it would take to bring them into the same universe as their fellow large-market mates) into PLAYER DEVELOPMENT?
To do what? Train all their A prospects on solid gold weight benches?
Every other team on that list is running minor league systems, drafting players, making international signings, paying coaches/instructors, etc. in addition to paying out their ML payroll. To suggest that the Astros can't afford to sign enough players to field a competitive, non-100 loss team while building a farm system is ludicrous.
This is exactly why other sports have salary floors or a relegation/promotion system -- because the Astros are jobbing their fans and upsetting the competitive balance of the league (think the AL West won't be a heavy favorite to send 3 teams to the post-season with this whipping boy in their back pocket all year?) by just being cheap.
And, to make it more insulting, they're doing it in a market that should afford them the resources to be competitive AND building for the future at the same time.
So you're thinking they should dive into the FA market to make the MLB team competitive right now, correct?
That's who's left. Outside of Michael Bourn and maybe Kyle Loshe, where are the impact players who make that team even remotely respectable? Most of the guys on that list are 1 step away from retirement, injured/coming off injuries, or just plain BAD. There's VERY little talent in the FA market IMO. IMHO, the Astros are better off letting their young players sink or swim at this point.
I certainly don't think they should be dealing the newly acquired talent in the farm to get MLB players so they can tread water.