Former Astros closer doesn't give the Astros a shot to sign the top free agents.
Brad Lidge has made quite a name for himself with his post-playing career. He is a special assistant to the Phillies and has carved out a nice little niche for himself on MLB Radio. He has a gentle speaking voice, but in reality, I’m not buying this nice-guy routine. Houston gave him his start and the only reason he is really famous at all because he gave up a home run to Albert Pujols. I swear to God that that ball still hasn’t landed. The problem with Brad Lidge is that I am 100% convinced he subconsciously hates the Houston Astros.
The first year he left Houston for Philadelphia, he decided to win a World Series with the Phillies. Didn’t want to bring it home for his pride and joy. I mean c’mon Brad, your Baseball-Reference.com picture is you in an Astros cap, dude. You couldn’t do it in 2005, but could in 2008? Judas! He had 123 saves in an Astros uniform and was a top-2 closer in the league in 2005, but for some reason. He even recruited Roy Oswalt to Philly in 2010 just to rub it in our face. Brad Lidge has some built-up hostility in the back of his mind for the Astros and here’s why:
Brad Lidge was cited in a tweet earlier this week by MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that showed expert opinions on free agent destinations. The three players of interest in this tweet are Nathan Eovaldi, Yasmani Grandal and Dallas Keuchel.
Eovaldi is from Houston. I would know, I pitched with him growing up and played with him on some all-steam teams in high school. He threw hard then, and he still does now. The Astros like these type of high spin rate guys, and Eovaldi showing a competency for both starting a relieving (as evident in the longest ever world series game where he threw 7 innings in relief) could make him a valuable asset with Lance McCullers out for all of 2019, and Dallas Keuchel most likely leaving for free agency.
He could be a taller, thicker, higher velocity Collin McHugh with his versatility and longevity. So of course, with all of this well-balanced and artfully crafted information, whom does Lidge have Eovaldi going to? The Yankees. He just thinks Eovaldi is a cash-grabbing monster, and I can’t respect someone who believes that of a the second-Alvin-coming of Nolan Ryan.
Grandal is a catcher, and it’s no surprise that the Astros need a catcher because the last two catchers they’ve had almost entirely qualify for social security by themselves. Side note: God bless Brian McCann. Grandal is all but leaving Los Angeles as no expert has him returning. Even noted Astros-troll and Rangers telecast buffoon C.J. Nitkowski has Grandal going to the Astros, as they look to field one between the $14-17M/year range.
There have been talks about trading for Marlin’s J.T. Realmuto, but the asking price could be too high, as they have requested top prospects, Forrest Whitley or Kyle Tucker, to be apart of a package. A majority of the experts have him going to the Astros. So who does Lidge have Grandal signing with? The Braves. That’s right, the man who didn’t want to deliver a World Series ring to Houston picked the one team that Houstonian's had nightmares of in October from the years 1997-2003. Lidge apparently wants to hurt us so much that he is the only “expert” to pick Grandal to Atlanta. Cheap shot received Lidge, cheap shot indeed.
Keuchel is statistically speaking, 99.9% not coming back to Houston. That’s my own stat, and it will be spoken into existence. He even admitted on Fox News he would shave his beard to be a Yankee. That’s the baseball version of a Blue-Footed Booby doing his high-stepping line dance in an attempt to find a mate. After turning down the barely-sub $18M qualifying offer, Keuchel is going to garner much attention from clubs. He finally had a healthy season, has showed a proclivity in coming up big in prime-time games and is of course…left-handed.
The experts are split on DK’s landing spot and to be honest, so am I. The fit though, it would seem, would be a team who is a borderline contender can handle the $19-22M/year that Boras will be asking for him. Most have him going to a team like Washington, or Atlanta, or even Milwaukee. Heck, I would even say Philadelphia. So who does Lidge have signing Keuchel? The Angels. Let me remind you the Angels are IN THE SAME DIVISION as his former team, have the two best players on the freaking planet but no one else, and finished 23 games out of first place last year.
I think it’s pretty obvious that Brad Lidge deep down inside is resentful to the Astros, and it shows here. I loved Lights Out Lidge more than anyone, so it hurts to see his bias showing. Read Common Sense by Thomas Paine Brad and get back to me, sir.
***Stats via Baseball-Reference***