Four thoughts on how the lockout affects the Astros

On Wednesday night, Major League Baseball officially declared a lockout after the players’ union and MLB officials were unable to reach agreement on a new collective agreement before the former CBA expired. Most people around the league do not expect this to be a long lockout or even that it will affect spring training (we will look at it) because the sides seem relatively close to a number of crucial issues.

Nevertheless, it means that teams can not communicate with players and the hot stove league is on ice until the league and the union resolve their disagreements. So what does that mean for Astros?

Young pitchers will not benefit from time spent with new pitching coaches.

Longtime pitching coach Brent Strom left the team at the end of the 2021 season and landed in Arizona. A few of his protégés remain in his place, but the man who is without a doubt the most important pitching coach of the last decade is gone. While this may not affect anyone like Justin Verlander, younger pitchers who have come to trust Strom’s wisdom and ability to make them better would have benefited from an offseason where they work with or at least communicate with their new pitching coaches.

With so many young arms to return to the ranks next year, the more time they get to work with coaches, the better. Right now they are stuck in limbo.

Offseason rehab could be a little harder for Alex Bregman and Jake Meyers.

It was reported that Bregman had a successful operation on his wrist after the end of the World Series. Many have speculated that this injury was one of the main reasons for the decline in Bregman’s efficiency on the record. Jake Meyers, who appeared as the team’s almost daily midfielder, was injured in the off-season when he crashed into the away wall. He is not expected to return until the opening day.

Both players will require rehab in the offseason and without access to the team’s doctors and facilities, it will be made much more difficult. Bregman seems ready to handle it. He is a veteran and no doubt has an organized offseason routine. Meyers, on the other hand, is a young player who needs guidance. Hope he gets it.

Free agency is less of an issue for Astros.

The only good news for the Astros is that they have fewer problems tackling free agency thanks to the re-signing of Justin Verlander and the signing of free agent reliever Hector Neris. GM James Click does not have nearly as many gaps to fill this offseason as some of his colleagues have. That’s probably why we saw the madness of high-dollar signatures from the Texas Rangers the week before the lockout.

However, there is one rather notable exception …

What’s going to happen to Carlos Correa?

Many of the large consumer teams with shortstop needs are off the table. The biggest signature was the deal that Rangers gave to Corey Seager at 10 years and a full $ 325 million. It seems to set the bar for any deal involving Correa, who has let it be known that he wants a deal that will sign him for a decade. Seager, as talented of a shortstop as he may be, is no Correa, putting a price tag closer to $ 350 million for the Astros star.

The lockout throws a bit of a wrench in the works when it comes to Correa signing somewhere. The Astros do not appear to be willing to rock at their maximum of five or six years for a contract length, but there are also not a host of teams out there to pick him up. Will he be able to find a contract that he wants in a shortened free agent period, or will he choose to return to the team where he has been his entire career for fewer years but just as much money per. season?


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