December 08, 2005
Astros part ways with Clemens

I agree with Tom: However sad it may be, the Astros' decision to forego offering salary arbitration to Roger Clemens was the right call, and here's the reason why:

The Astros' decision was based on the uncertainty of Clemens' status for next season and the potential of having to pay him between $15.4 million and $22 million if he does opt to play in 2006.


The [Astros'] payroll for 2006 is already close to $80 million with just the five contracts guaranteed to Jeff Bagwell, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Craig Biggio and the expected raises through arbitration for third baseman Morgan Ensberg, closer Brad Lidge, shortstop Adam Everett, catcher Raul Chavez, reliever Dan Wheeler and infielder Mike Lamb.

Clemens had two great seasons in Houston - indeed, his 2005 ledger is one of the best ever, given the hitter-friendly environment he's in (though one can make the case that Andy Pettite's season was even better) - but if he's not committed to returning, then the Astros have to be ready to move on. The core of this team is still pretty good, and if they can use some of that Clemens money for a good hitter or two, they ought to be in business. This couldn't have been an easy call, but it was the right one.

Enjoy the next five years until your Cooperstown coronation, Roger. You deserve it.

Other reaction: from Jack, Lair, David Pinto, and Lisa Gray.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 08, 2005 to Baseball | TrackBack

Raul Chavez was so bad, they turned to Humberto Quintero to take his slot for a while.

I look forward to Raul blighting another roster, but if Humberto is the best they can scrape out of Round Rock, I fear he'll be back.

Posted by: Laurence Simon on December 8, 2005 11:07 AM

Yup. Good move by McClain. If Roger, or his agents are going to force the Astros to sacrifice getting him any help by waiting until it is too late to announce WHETHER he will return, the 'Stros need to move on. Rocket gave us 2 unforgettable years, the 2 best in my 29 years in Houston, but business is business.

I just hope there is someone(s) out there to spend that $20 million on.

BTW, they need to give Bagwell his retirement watch, too. I believe Houston fans have become educated enough to understand the financials of the game.

Posted by: RedScare on December 8, 2005 6:38 PM