Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thank you, Drayton (!?)Posted by Evan Brunell
Richard Justice today sent out a "thank you" to Houston Astros manager Drayton McLane:
They're doing what smart franchises are supposed to. They're getting their draft picks signed and in uniform in a hurry. Meanwhile, the general manager has made enough smart moves to somehow managed [sic] to keep the big league team competitive.
They were pieced together with old guys because Ed Wade had run out of money.
This is what happens when you've got wise ownership, when you've got ownership willing to spend and when you've got an owner that hires good people and allows them to do their job.
Houston has a payroll of roughly $103 million, seventh in the bigs and behind just the Mets, Cubs and Phillies in the National League.
They have the worst farm system in the majors, as ranked by Baseball America.
They're the oldest team in baseball with an average age of 30.3, ahead of Philadelphia (29.5).
Their only saving grace is they will lose roughly half of their payroll to free agency (before arbitration), freeing up enough money for Ed Wade to go sign more of those wonderful, aging veterans.
Just because a team is improbably winning this year doesn't mean they're set up for future success.
Evan Brunell is currently editor of Fire Brand of the American League, a Red Sox blog he began in 2003. He also scores games at Fenway Park for MLB. He was the co-founder and president of MVN, an independent sports media web site.