What will the Rocket do??

He's said he won't play until at least June, if at all. Now that the Astros can negotiate, there's 3 teams with a real shot at signing him for the rest of the year (sorry, Texas Rangers). Here's how I see it for each team, pros and cons.

Boston Red Sox:

Pros--Will offer him a ton of money, with a real chance to win. A playoff rotation of Schilling, Beckett, Clemens, and Wakefield would be TOUGH to beat. Lineup will score a bunch of runs for him every time out. Can end his career where he started it.

Cons--I don't really think anybody knows how he feels about the way things ended there before. It could be not as bad as some think, it could be worse. Uprooting for a summer when you've been retired for 6 months and playing 2000 miles from home might not be that appealing.

Houston Astros:

Pros--They can offer him 3 things that the other two teams cannot. He can stay at home, and pitch at a ballpark that is 20 minutes from his house. They will almost certainly give him the same arrangement he had before, where he wouldn't be required to travel on road trips which he isn't scheduled to pitch. And there's the distinct possibility that his son will be a September callup when rosters expand. The idea of playing a couple of games in the bigs with his kid has to be appealing. Houston has a chance to contend as well.

Cons--They won't be able to offer what New York and Boston can. The Astros have to hope that the $100+ million he's earned in his life is enough, and his decision will not be just about money. They will start out offering $18 mil pro-rated ($3 million a month, which for June through Sept. would be 12 mil), and would likely go a little higher, but not much.

New York Yankees:

Pros--They'll be willing to pay anything he asks, given the shape their staff is in. If he asks for $25 million for the rest of the season, I doubt they'll blink. He has a lot of friends there still, he's very close with Jeter, Posada, and Joe Torre. The Yankees will also score a TON, there's no chance he gets shut out in half his starts again. With their lineup, he could come back in June and win 15-17 games.

Cons--He was upset about New York giving up on Andy Pettitte and not offering him a contract after the '03 season, but I doubt that would factor into his decision much. But it would be another big move, just when he's settling into retired life with his family.

In summation, I think Houston has the best shot, for 5 reasons.

  1. He and his family already live there, as stated above.

  2. The travel arrangement, as stated above.

  3. Possibly playing with his son, as stated above.

  4. Can join a contending club and try for another playoff run with his hometown buddy, Andy Pettitte.

  5. I'm a homer, and I refuse to envision him in another uniform this year.


nice breakdown. i personally don't think he is going to pitch. but if he does, i think it will be with houston, basically for the reasons you mentioned. i also don't think he has any interest whatsoever in returning to boston or new york.

Thank you. I do try.

I would put odds of him pitching at slightly less than 50%. I put the odds of him pitching for somebody other than Houston at less than 20%. I just think that if he was going to play for someone else, he would have started some serious discussions with them by now. There was nothing stopping him from REALLY talking over a contract with Boston or NY.


You forgot #6: No state income tax, and lower taxes in general in Texas.

i dont really care, kes too selfish "waiting" to see which team has a better chance of winning the world series. either retire or join a team in the beginning of the season and help them out from the start.

Cousin Eddie,

It's just a theory on my part, but do you think he's holding out to avoid burnout?

He seemed to fade down the stretch last year. I don't think his arm can handle the wear and team of a complete season.

Pitching out of the pen is out of the question- he'd have to pitch too often.

He'd benefit the Stroh's the most during the playoffs. Why not have him come in at the middle of the season.

For one thing, it would give the other starters a rest. It would be a huge addition to their staff in general. And he'd have a fresher arm if they make it to the playoffs.

"It's just a theory on my part, but do you think he's holding out to avoid burnout?"

Yes. It makes sense to me, too.

"He seemed to fade down the stretch last year. I don't think his arm can handle the wear and team of a complete season."

He's faded both of the last two years near the end. In '04, it was his back, in '05 it was his hamstring. His arm seems okay, it's more that his whole body wears down after 6 months.

They (The Astros) are going to hope he can sign with them and start pitching near the AllStar break. That would put him in "mid-season" form for September.