Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Astros Sign Carlos Beltran

The Astros young core of hitters is decidedly RH:  Altuve, Springer, Correa, Bregman, Gattis.  That is quite a Murderer's Row of hitters, but they are all RH.  The Astros decided to spend the offseason balancing that core with veterans who bat left-handed.  They acquired Brian McCann and Josh Reddick and now add Carlos Beltran who switch-hits.

Beltran has had a remarkable career starting in 1998, 19 seasons.  His career slash line is .281/.354.492 with 431 HR and 312 SB's.  A true 5 tool player in his prime!  Giants fans may still have some hard feelings over a perception that Beltran may not have given 100% after an ill-fated deadline trade to the Orange and Black in 2011, but the man has been a terrific player for a long time.

Beltran's contract is 1 year/$16 M.  His last team, the Texas Rangers could not make a QO because they acquired him in a midseason trade with the Yankees.  His numbers in Texas were not as good a with the Yanks, possibly due to the absence of that short Yankee Stadium porch, but he is still an upgrade for the Astros lineup with the 1 years deal making it a minimal risk.  Great pickup by the Astros!


  1. Good signing. Next they need some starting pitching in a market that is lacking in impact arms ( Unless they make a trade for one.). The Astros might have stumbled over themselves by not forecasting the upcoming free agent markets better, and addressing starting pitching sooner. Without quality arms they will never be a real threat to get to the series, just another also-ran playoff team.

    1. They've added a couple of under-the-radar pitchers in Charlie Morton and Mike Fiers who will compete for 5'th starter behind a top 4 of Keuchal, McCullers, McHugh and Joe Musgrove. That's not top tier rotation, but it's not bottom tier either.

  2. I just read the Dodgers are showing heavy interest in Brian Dozier. I still see the Giants showing interest in J.D. Martinez which I like but why not Dozier if the twins are willing to take Panik or Belt in a package with prospects? Dozier would solve the power problem in the lineup and would allow Parker and Mac to start in LF with much less pressure. Maybe it takes Belt instead or even Belt AND Panik! Sign one of the big 3 closers and whatever leftover 1B is out there at the end of the offseason and we would be in good shape.

    CF Span
    3B Nunez
    C Posey
    2B Dozier
    RF Pence
    SS Crawford
    1B Cris Carter
    LF Parker/Mac

    1. I like it, but it is most definitely not the Giants MO.

    2. How many do you think he'd hit here? The PF for Miller Park (2010 through 2016) is 118 per The PF for ATT is 76 over the same time period.

      So, in the years 2010-2016, Miller Park produced 107 runs for every 100 runs produced in the average MLB park, and 129 HRs for every 100 homers. Meanwhile, AT&T Park produced 84 runs for every 100 runs produced in the average MLB park, and 67 HRs for every 100 homers, for a mean Park Factor of 76. In short, HRs are hit at Miller Park at 192% the rate of ATT. The Giants, as a club, are (pretty much) average in HRs on the road. They don't actually lack power to the extent people think.

      The next thing is, yes, he did hit 42 dingers. But where did this surge come from? He hit 19 HRs for his entire 1,738 AB minor's career. He averaged about 18/600 for his first three years (though grew every year) then was a mid-high 20s guy.

      Now 42... How? Steroids? Luck? Training? I don't know. But I wouldn't count on 42 HRs for the Giants (or anyone really). I'd think we'd be lucky to get 18-20 here as he's not only leaving a hitters park, but going to the most severe pitchers park in MLB. And that'll kill half his ABs.

    3. Are you taking about Dozier or Chris Carter? Dozier played his home game in Minneapolis which I think is pretty pitcher friendly. Agree completely on Carter, though.

      You do make a great point though. Tony Blengino did a granular study after the 2014 season looking at exit velocities and concluded that the Giants actually led MLB or came close to it in how hard they hit the ball on average. AT&T suppresses HR's much more than most people give it credit for. On top of that, the Giants also play 9 games per year each in Petco Park and Dodger Stadium which are also quite pitcher friendly. One dimensional players whose sole contribution is hitting dingers are probably not going to help the Giants much because if you cut the dingers in half, you have a pretty terrible player. That's basically what happened to Aaron Rowand here.

    4. I might of gotten my players mixed up. Don't know now. Did find something about the Padres I thought was kind of funny, though:

      "For now, reliever Carter Capps is their highest paid player remaining after earning $987,500 last season. Capps missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery."

      That's their highest paid player. I'm like... Wow.

    5. Kinda funny, the Padres currently have literally no players on the roster under contract.

  3. I threw Carter out there as an example. There are a few guys who should be around at the end and can be signed for cheap. My point was that I think Panik and or Belt could be big enough trade chips to bring in a big bat that could either be a 2B, 3B, 1B, or LF and have the same impact on this lineup. Nunez can play 2B if needed and Posey can play enough 1B to even out if someone like Carter or Napoli, or Moreland, or even Pierce can't handle playing 1B and batting 7th. I like Panik but would rather have a middle of the order impact bat and I think we all can agree that if we can dump Belt for any value we should try. The window this team has is probably not as big as most think. Cueto is likely gone after this season and Posey has maybe 3 more years behind the plate before he needs to slide to 1B. If the difference between trading for JD Martinez or Dozier is including Panik and/or Belt I think it is a no brainer.