I thought it was pretty nifty that Kevin Goldstein got hired by the Astros last week. The woman who runs The Astros Dugout is not so hot on the idea, however:
In the news – Luhnow has hired Steven Goldstein, who is a BLOGGER. Yes friends and neighbors and 2 dozen remaining Astros fans, you read that right. He first worked for Baseball America talkin bout prospects, then moved to Baseball Prospectus, doing the same thing. He has been given the job as head of pro scouting – meaning, I guess, that the Astros want the same dishy stuff on other teams prospects that he’s been writing up for BPro. All my statty friends are all agog. We’re like Billy Beane 10 years later, I guess, only without Hudson, Mulder and Zito.
1. Maybe she actually likes that Kevin Goldstein was hired but is really concerned about this “Steven Goldstein” character. I would be too. Sounds kinda sketchy to me.
2. Probably worth noting that unless I’m missing something, Kevin Goldstein was never a blogger. He’s an analyst, a scouting news dude, constant tweeter and a writer of longer form pieces. He’s also a podcaster. But I’ve never known him to blog. Which, pet peeve of mine: not everyone who writes on the internet is a blogger. Only people who blog are bloggers. It’s sorta like how people who climb mountains aren’t skiers, just because they happen to be on the same object. Verbs and nouns matter!
3. I realize it’s hard to be a fan of a team that has had as much recent success as the Astros have, only to see them trying new things. How scary it must be that the legacy of Ed Wade and all he created in Houston over the past couple of seasons is being cast aside!
At any rate, I do legitimately fear that Goldstein will be absolutely insufferable down in the bar at the winter meetings if he helps turn the Astros into a World Series champ in the next few seasons — just a feeling I have about that guy — but it’s something I’d personally be willing to risk if I was an Astros fan.
The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.
It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:
We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.
While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.
Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.
Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.
Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”
He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.
If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.
“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”
Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.