On Wednesday night, Major League Baseball officially announced the closure after the players association and MLB officials were unable to reach agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement before the previous CBA agreement expired. Most league members don’t expect this to be a prolonged shutdown or even to affect spring training (we’ll see) as the two sides appear to be relatively close to a number of crucial issues.
However, it does mean that teams cannot communicate with the players and the Hot stoves League is on the ice until the League and Federation resolve their differences. So, what does that mean for the Astros?
Young shooters will not benefit from time with new trainers.
Longtime coach Brent Strom left the team at the close of the 2021 season and landed in Arizona. A couple of buddies stayed put, but the man who was arguably the most important throwing coach of the past decade is gone. While this may not affect someone like Justin Verlander, younger bowlers who have come to rely on Strom’s wisdom and ability to make them better would have benefited from working off-season with their new coaches or at least networking with them.
With so many young arms set to return to the squad next year, the more time they spend working with coaches, the better. Now, they are stuck in limbo.
Offseason rehab may be more difficult for Alex Bergman and Jake Myers.
It was reported that Bergman had successful surgery on his wrist after the conclusion of the World Championships. Many have speculated that this injury was one of the main reasons for Bregman’s decline on the board. Jake Myers, who has appeared as the team’s almost daily quarterback, got injured in the postseason as he crashed into the wall of the field. Not expected to return perhaps until opening day.
Both players will need off-season rehabilitation and without access to team doctors and facilities, which will make it more difficult. Bregman seems ready to deal with it. He’s a veteran and no doubt has a structured off-season routine. On the other hand, Myers is a young player who needs guidance. Here’s hoping to get it.
Free agency is not an issue for the Astros.
The good news for the Astros is that they have fewer issues to tackle in free agency thanks to Justin Verlander’s re-sign and free agency signing Hector Neres. GM James Click doesn’t have as many holes to fill this season as some of its peers do. This is probably why we saw a frenzy of high dollar contracting by the Texas Rangers in the week prior to the close.
However, there is one very notable exception…
What will happen to Carlos Correa?
Many large spending teams with short needs are off the table. The biggest signing was the deal that Rangers gave Cory Seeger in 10 years and $325 million. This appears to set the standard for any deal Correa is involved in, who has announced he wants a deal that will sign him for a decade. Seager, as talented at Shortstop as he may be, is not from Correa, setting a price close to $350 million for the Astros.
The closing throws a bit of a wrench into the works when it comes to Correa’s signature somewhere. The Astros don’t seem willing to budge a maximum of five or six years for a contract, but there aren’t many teams available to sign him either. Will he be able to find the contract he wants in a shortened free agency period or might he choose to return to the team where he has been throughout his career for fewer years but the same amount of money each season?