Astros fired general manager Ed Wade with two years remaining on contract

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Ed Wade is out of a job after being fired by the Astros last night, but the 55-year-old former general manager will be collecting a paycheck for two more seasons.

Wade told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that an “evergreen” provision in his contract recently kicked in to extend the deal another season, meaning he was signed through 2013.

Not only will Wade be paid for six years despite holding the job for only four years, the Astros will be paying two general managers in each of the next two seasons. Jim Crane probably doesn’t mind too much, as Wade’s undisclosed salary is no doubt similar to that of a bench player, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Astros’ new ownership also decides to pay two managers by firing Brad Mills.

While news of Wade’s firing broke last night, Levine reports that the GM was told of the move the day before Thanksgiving and, unlike longtime team president Tal Smith, was given an opportunity to meet with ownership on his way out.

Nationals Acquire Ryan Raburn From White Sox

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The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.

Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.

The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.