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Astros Have Opportunity To Start Fresh
Initially, yes, it will likely be difficult for the Astros to compete with the loaded Texas Rangers when they first arrive in the same division. In time, however, natural rivals can only benefit an organization like the Astros. It benefits the fans and the team's ability to sell tickets for a number of big games between the two clubs. So, obviously there is a great financial benefit as well. But, most importantly it gives the Astros and their fans something to shoot for. It will takes years for them to completely catch up with Texas in terms of player development, but already the new ownership is showing a willingness to follow the model the Rangers have created.
Avoid High Price Free Agents....For Now
It takes patience on the part of the fans to go through some rebuilding years, but it needs to be done right now. They'll want to see some free agents brought in, but for now the focus needs to be on youth and getting the farm system back in working order. There's already been some progress made on that front, but there's still a long way to go. The difference between a team like the Astros' and their soon to be rivals, the Rangers, is that they are unable replace a veteran player with a talented player from their farm system.
Get The GM Right
There is obviously a great temptation for the Astros' new ownership to go out and make a splash by hiring a GM like Andrew Friedman. The reality is that Friedman is likely unobtainable at this point. Either way, the right course of action does not necessarily entail making a splash. Instead, they should be working from a list of young GM candidates like Rick Hahn of the White Sox, John Coppolella of the Braves, and Billy Eppler of the Yankees. And, there are several other names that belong on that list as well. It's a list of well rounded candidates who bring a number of varying skills to the table. Most importantly, they bring fresh starts. And, going to a new league and having new ownership, a completely fresh start is exactly what Houston needs.
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