The Astros fired their general manager James Click and lost pitcher Justin Verlander to free agency after the Fall Classic.
But they are determined to run it back next year, and Abreu’s signing is proof of that.
Losing a pitcher of Verlander’s caliber obviously hurts, but A) he could potentially return; and B) even if he doesn’t, Houston has enough depth and top-end talent to cope.
They said it themselves in a recent tweet post: “We don’t rebuild, we reload.”
We don't rebuild, we reload. pic.twitter.com/TCSwdyP6sv
— Houston Astros (@astros) November 29, 2022
That’s actually spot on.
The Astros lost Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Dallas Keuchel, and lots of other players over the years, and that hasn’t stopped them from being the most competitive team in the American League for the last six years.
An Elite Organization On And Off The Field
Since 2017, Houston has gone to each and every AL Championship Series, appearing in four World Series and winning two.
That’s not too shabby.
Instead of rebuilding after losing the kind of talent they have in recent years, they reload on talented players through their own minor leagues, free agency, and the trade market.
Of course, to reach their current status, the Astros had to rebuild at some point: it happened between 2006 and 2014, with no playoff appearances.
But the work at the office level had started: they drafted several impact players such as Correa and Alex Bregman, they signed Jose Altuve, and they traded for Yordan Alvarez and several impact pitchers.
No one in the junior circuit evaluates talent and develops impact players like the Astros, and that work is done off the field.
They are a top organization, from top to bottom.