What can you say about the 2013 Houston Astros? The newest members of the American league are headed for their third consecutive 100-loss season. Most of the recognizable names on the team have been traded away over the last couple of seasons and those that remain may not make it to the trade deadline in an Astros uniform.
One player that will be sticking around is pint-sized second baseman Jose Altuve. The Astros recently signed the 23-year old Venezuelan to a 4-year contract extension that also includes a couple of option years. Altuve’s signing marks the first time the new ownership group, led by Houston businessman Jim Crane, has reached into the pocketbook to secure a talented and popular player with a long term contract. Astros fans are hoping that this is a trend and that players like All-Star catcher Jason Castro might be next in line.
Crane and company inherited a franchise in disarray when they purchased the team in November of 2011. Since that time the new ownership group has brought in interesting mix of front office personnel that includes a couple of baseball writers and a “decision scientist”.
New General Manager Jeff Luhnow (former scouting director for the St. Louis Cardinals) has teamed with these individuals to revamp a gutted farm system. Although 2013 is another lost season, the future is looking bright.