Whoda thunk it, when they were slogging through that three-year stretch of losing twice as much as they won, and after 56 years of no titles. This year, though, they won 112 games. Including the last one. Looked like Dallas Keuchel might get to come in as a reliever tonight, but A.J. Hinch made the right call leaving the ball with Charlie Morton. Four months ago I’d never heard of him, but dude can pitch.
And I have to give kudos to Ben Reiter of SI, who wrote that famous story in June 2014 predicting that the Astros would win the 2017 Series. He nailed it.
Proud to see a team from the south win one! It would have been nice for the the killer B’s to have gotten it done.
Sports Illistared was right last fall with this prediction.
I wonder if they will bring Mcann. Verlander and Beltran back next year!
Verlander has two years left on his current contract. He’s absolutely back. Beltran’s interviews last night strongly suggested he would retire. McCann also has two years left on his deal, but 2019 is an option year. He’s only 33 by the way.
Houston has six players who will be free agents. One of them is Beltran. The only other ones who played much are Liriano and Gregerson in the bullpen, and Maybin as a fourth outfielder. And they have some prospects ready to step up, including Fisher, the guy who scored the winning run in Game 5.
Jeff Luhnow, who the owner Crane gave credit for building the team on the field after the game, learned the biz in the Cardinal front office from 2003 to when the Astros hired him Dec. 2011. As mentioned by another poster, the core, Bregman, Altuve, Correa, Gurriel, are locked up for a few more years before becoming free agents. Their team payroll at season start was 124 mil, 13 mil below the average. Dodgers were the highest payroll at 242.
Adding Justin Verlander ($28 million a year) jacks up the Houston payroll for sure, although Detroit is still on the hook for $8 million of that per year. But Beltran ($16 million) will come off. Astros’ payroll coming into the Series, per Forbes magazine, was $137 million. I would expect them to go after some bullpen help in the offseason which may push it a little higher. I would also think that they would try to lock up Altuve, who also has two years left on his deal. Springer is eligible for arbitration and may want to see what he can get out of that; he was arbitration eligible last winter and signed a one-year deal for $3.9 million, but he wasn’t WS MVP last winter.
Salary trivia: Of the eight position players that started Game 7, who has the highest salary for Houston?
So Verlander makes $28M. He started 33 games in the regular season. That’s $848,484 per start. Nice work if you can get it. Six more appearances in the postseason for free, although he’ll get a playoff share just like every other player on a playoff team. Last year each Cub got $368,000 for winning the WS. Playoff shares come out of a pool of playoff ticket sales, which last year totaled $76 million to cover all 10 playoff teams. The Cubs’ portion of that was $27.5M, and they awarded 66 full shares and some partial shares out of that sum. So no way to know what Verlander, Altuve and the other 'Stros will get for their October work, except for a ring. It is possible that Verlander, who was only with the team for September and October, will not get a full share. Usually teams in playoff contention decide how to divide up their playoff shares in early August, but JV didn’t show up for another four weeks.
An absolute falsehood. The Cardinals didn’t “hack” anything. One rogue employee correctly guessed Luhnow’s password because he didn’t have the foresight to change it from the one he had while employed by the Cardinals.
Chris Correa was not instructed by anyone to hack into the Astros scouting system. Also, there is no evidence that the Cardinals gleaned any information and used it to their advantage. Correa has paid dearly for his “crime” and did the Cardinals, losing a first round pick.
I absolutely hate that the Cubs and Astros won the past two world series’. Not because they are Cardinal rivals, but rather because these are two franchises that tanked for a number of years to gain draft picks. I am so thankful the Cardinals do not do this.
Last thing on Luhnow. He may be incredibly smart, but he also took Mark Appel over Kris Bryant.
Yep, they tanked. but as you note in the last sentence, draft picks in baseball are very iffy. One of those tanked picks, Brady Aiken, blew out his elbow. Astros consequently reduced their offer to him, he didn’t sign, went back into the next draft and went to the Indians. He’s now in Class A. With the compensatory pick they got for not signing Aiken, they took some kid from LSU named Bregman. That worked out OK. They traded Appel for Ken Giles, who was a solid closer for most of the last two years, and Appel is still stuck in the minors. That worked out OK too. Would they have preferred Bryant in hindsight? Sure.
They took a lot of crap for passing on Byron Buxton in 2012, going for a little cheaper player by the name of Carlos Correa. Buxton is now in the majors with the Twins. Correa is a superstar on a world champion team. That move worked out OK too.
As the Ben Reiter SI story from 2014 notes, conventional wisdom is to pretend to try to win. Which I suspect is what you saw in St. Louis in 2017. Jeff Luhnow blazed his own trail: Dump the high priced mediocre veterans, sign and develop the kids, and in four years they went from 111 losses to 112 wins and a ring. St. Louis, conversely, has gone backward 17 wins in the last two seasons. They may just be in mid-tank.
Wait a minute now. They missed the WC by one game last year. This year, I don’t think they were aggressive enough at all (and I can’t stand the manager), but to call them a “mid tank” is laughable. The spent a ton of money on Brett Cecil and Dexter Fowler. Hardly a “mid tank.”
Let’s see who is playing 3B, a corner OF spot and closing games in St Louis next year.
The same employee accessed the database 48 times over 30 months, according to reports. That is hacking. And it wasn’t just Luhnow’s account that he hacked. He accessed five accounts, according to the Chronicle, and attempted to access two others.
It might not have been a widespread Cardinals hack, but I have a hard time believing that some others in the organization did not know what was going on. And even if it was one rogue employee, he still was a representative of the organization. Any way you slice it, it left the Cardinals looking bad.
And the dude who did it is in prison, so there is that.
The hacking issue has nothing to do with the Astros winning the World Series. They tanked just like the Cubs did, which is legal, so good for them. The point about tanking is that it wouldn’t be tolerated by some fan bases, which is why every team doesn’t try it.