Hey Theo… put the phone down

Mike Lowell made your job a little easier.

He’s probably going to hang up his spikes after this season… so to try and trade him will be kind of a hard sell.

“Hey, how would you like a part time right handed hitter who doesn’t have his old mobility?”

“Um… maybe not THIS year.”

“Well you have to act now because he is going to retire in 5 months.”

You’d get more for the sequel rights of Pluto Nash.

It was a nice idea over the off season to try and get a prospect for Mike, but alas his health conspired against that idea.

So instead of trying to get a backup outfielder who will probably rot on the bench for the Lowell Spinners or pick up cash considerations that couldn’t pay for the coffee creamer in the clubhouse, why not just keep Mike Lowell around?

Everybody loves the guy. He’s a World Series MVP. And if he is going to retire, why not have him retire as a Red Sox for real instead of signing a one day contract like Nomar!

There’s a novel thought! Have someone AVOID the Ungrateful Exit from the Red Sox roster!
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Met fans… this is going to be a very long season

The Mets have a lot of holes on their team.

I would argue that the Mets have more holes than the plot of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

But when you looked over the schedule before the start of the season, I am sure you could have written a few things in ink.

The Mets are better than the Nationals… Johan Santana is the Mets ace and lone bright spot in their pitching staff.

So it is safe to say you’d count on Johan Santana beating the Nationals at home.

Ohhhh boy.

I know it is early, but losing to the Nats (and losing the series to the Nats) is not a good sign.

100 losses this year.
I’m telling you.

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Roy Oswalt’s value could sky rocket

The Astros are the only team without a win this year.
I know it is early but it never looks good to be the last one to get a W. And the Astros are going to have that Musical Chairs feeling again today as they face Roy Halladay.

Now of course the Astros can counter with THEIR Roy… Roy Oswalt. But come on! The Stros are probably going to St Lou on Monday with an 0-6 record.

It’s going to be a long year for Brad Mills. Their team is too old and already breaking down. And even though there is no juggernaut in the division, they are decidedly worse than St. Louis and Milwaukee and don’t have Cincinnati’s youth.

I think they fell into the same trap as the Orioles in the late 1990s and 2000s and more recently the Giants and the Mets stumbled into:

They felt they were still a contender and made moves as if they were only a player away from the post season, when in reality they should have been rebuilding.

That mentality hamstrung the Orioles for a decade, decimated the post Bonds Giants until their pitching developed and turned the Mets into the mess that they are today.

Well, I’m not saying that the Astros are going to be winless this year… but they will certainly be playing golf in October and could use an injection of youth.

I have Baseball America’s preview of the top prospects at each position here.
They list 185 of the best young players in the minors.

3 are with the Astros.

Catcher Jason Castro, who played in double A last year.
Pitcher Jordan Lyles was in Low A last year.
Shortstop Jio Mier played in the lowest rung of the minors last year.

There’s your future!

But there could be a strange domino effect that could help the Astros a little bit.

At the trade deadline, virtually every contending team is looking for pitching… but recently the trend in front offices has been to lock up their top pitchers.

Josh Beckett and Yovani Gallardo were locked up this week. And Tom Verducci covers the other aces like Josh Johnson, CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, John Lackey etc who are now off the market.

So the demand will be high and the supply pretty small.

A healthy Roy Oswalt if traded well would fill in a hole (or 3) for a long while.

Now last year I called for the Astros to trade him… especially when he was flashing some of his ace stuff.

They didn’t. It didn’t make sense then and didn’t make sense now. They could have picked up 2 or 3 building blocks. Instead he started to have back problems and missed 200 innings for the first time in his career.

If he pitches well in the beginning of 2010, then the Astros HAVE to deal him.
There is no excuse.

The Indians have filled up their cupboard with a bunch of solid players for Sabathia and Lee.

The Blue Jays have some good youth for Halladay.

Oswalt isn’t on that level, but he was a 17 game winner as recently as 2008.
This is a guy with 5 top 5 Cy Young finishes and an NLCS MVP on his mantle.

You telling me a contender wouldn’t give up one of the 182 other prospects listed by Baseball America to have someone like that down the stretch?

Houston…. I know it doesn’t seem that long ago that you were in the World Series… but 2005 was 5 years ago!

It’s time to think about the new decade… and an old expensive team breaking down with no prospects in the minor league system is no way to turn the ship around.

Stay healthy Roy… pitch well… and we’ll see you in October with another club

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