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More Missed Opportunities

The failure to trade Mark Loretta and Mike Lamb before the deadline really is looking bad right now.

Lamb at least has maintained a steady rate of production even while his playing time has dropped off. Given the trade for Wigginton, I doubt he will want to re-sign with us as a free agent. Putting aside the issue of whether the Wigginton trade was wise or not, it’s probably a safe bet to offer arbitration to Lamb and hopefully get a draft pick for him if he signs elsewhere. However, last year, Lamb wouldn’t have qualified as the type of free agent worthy of compensation, so there’s no guarantee he will this year. The Elias Sports bureau creates the rankings of free agents that qualify as Class A or B and while their ranking formulas are not published, they are based on a three year average of production.

Loretta, on the other hand was a type A free agent last year, which would mean he might qualify for draft pick compensation. However, in the second half of the season, his production has dropped dramatically.  His OPS for the first half was .810; for the second half he’s clocking in at .539. The Astros have to offer him arbitration after the season to receive any compensation if he signs with another team. But what if, like last year, he doesn’t find another team to sign  with and instead takes the Astros arbitration offer. He’d likely be due a raise from the $2.5 million he’s making this year. That’s a roster spot and salary the Astros really don’t want to give up.

Just another illustration of the near complete train-wreck this season has turned into for the Astros.


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