Astros Offseason: A Success or Not?
On paper, the Astros roster in 2017 is better than the one that it broke camp with last year.
Let’s do some quick WAR-based math, shall we! Alright, it is just some simple addition and subtraction based on Steamer projected WAR between eight total former and new Astros.
Projected WAR added: 6.4
Projected WAR subtracted: 5.8
Net WAR: 0.6
Based on Steamer’s projected WAR, the Astros have netted around 0.6 WAR with their offseason maneuvers. Mind you that the projected WAR subtracted includes not only Jason Castro, Colby Rasmus, and Doug Fister, but also Carlos Gomez and his 2017 projected WAR figure. But I thought I would include him to give me an equal number of players on both sides of the equation.
So, did the Astros have a successful offseason?
By the metrics stance it is simply yes. Sure, a projected gain of 0.6 wins isn’t anything spectacular. It could wind up having a quite minimal effect at the end of the day. The team though did pick up players that could realistically exceed their projections. The same can be said in terms of the opposite.
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Did the team do enough to thrust themselves into the same tier as the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, or Boston Red Sox?
Well, this a debatable point for Houston.
For example, the Red Sox acquired Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox during the offseason. Then the Indians signed slugger Edwin Encarnacion to bolster their offense. And the Cubs and Dodgers have made similar moves in the past to strengthen their clubs.
But the Astros this offseason don’t necessarily have that “wow” transaction that puts the rest of the league on notice. It isn’t for lack of trying on their end though.
As you may recall, Houston’s front office has been in on numerous starting pitchers via the trade front. Jose Quintana, Chris Archer, and Sonny Gray are three of the most heard names attached to the Astros. We all know that it would take a hefty package to pry one of those talented arms from their current clubs. In fact, we know that the front office already view the price for Quintana to be too high. And for some odd reason, the Tampa Bay Rays reportedly turned down a considerable package for Archer.
The rotation has arguably been the Astros greatest need this offseason. Improving the outfield and offense was also on the to-do list, but the front office addressed those needs for the most part. Adding another starting pitcher, even with the addition of Charlie Morton, has remained the primary goal.
Overall, the Astros offseason has been a success based on the meaning of the word. Are they winners of the offseason? No, they are simply not. But they are good enough to where that shouldn’t matter. But there is plenty of time before the season starts so I wouldn’t completely rule out another move or two before the end of Spring Training.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**