Brian Moehler's Option Picked Up by Astros: Am I Missing Something Here?

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IOctober 7, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Starting pitcher Brian Moehler #38 of the Houston Astros pitches during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at the Citizens Bank Park on September 30, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

The Astros have picked up Brian Moehler's option for 2010 for $3 million. Wait, what?

"The Astros informed Brian Moehler today that they plan to pick up their portion of the mutual option they hold on the right-hander for 2010.

"Moehler, who had right knee partial lateral meniscectomy to remove loose particles from his knee Monday, has the right to decline the $3 million contract. The Astros had until the fifth day after the World Series to exercise the option or pay Moehler a $250,000 buyout. If he declines, then he doesn’t get the buyout.

"Moehler was 8-12 with a 5.47 ERA this year.

"'We informed Moehler today that we want to pick up his option,' Ed Wade said. 'He has the right to decline. We’re optimistic that Brian is going to be back with us next year.'"

I don't even know where to begin with this one. This move is baffling for many, many reasons.

1. Moehler isn't a good pitcher

It's not like the Astros are paying Moehler for pitching well in 2009. Quite the contrary, actually. Moehler's numbers were pretty bad in 2009 (5.47 ERA/1.54 WHIP), and there was absolutely no reason for the Astros to jump at the opportunity to pick up his option this quickly. This guy is a borderline fifth starter in the majors, at best.

2. Moehler is old

The Astros were the oldest team in baseball this season and NEED to get younger. Brian Moehler will not help the Astros get any younger. By the time the 2010 season opens, Moehler will be 38 years old.

3. Three million dollars!

It's been well documented by now that the Astros are looking to cut payroll. If that's really the case, then how can they justify spending $3 million on a soon to be 38-year-old coming off a terrible season? I know the amount of money is rather small, but I can think of so many better ways for GM Ed Wade to spend that money.

If Wade is serious about cutting payroll, then he needs to be responsible with budget decisions, which means not giving out $3 million to below average starting pitchers.

So if you can think of a logical reason why this deal makes sense for the Astros, I'd love to hear it. I have a very tough time thinking that Brian Moehler was the best the Astros could do for $3 million. Way to go, Ed Wade.


(Jorge Says No! on Facebook)

(Follow Jorge Says No! on Twitter)