SBD/August 1, 2013/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Astros' Rebuilding Plan Appears To Be On Track

In Houston, Randy Harvey writes the Astros' rebuilding plan "must enter phase two" after yesterday's trades of P Bud Norris, CF Justin Maxwell and P Jose Veras. Phase one of "trading veterans for prospects is finished." The team's active payroll is about $13M, with Ps Eric Bedard and Wesley Wright the only players making "much more than" the MLB minimum $490,000. While the team is not seeing wins on the field, "they seem to be happening elsewhere." Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has earned "high praise for his performances since arriving in Houston in the last two drafts, in offseason transactions and at the trading deadline" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/1).

O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? In Philadelphia, Ryan Lawrence writes much like Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. "standing pat on deadline day, the present-day Phillies are a team stuck in neutral." They are attempting to "succeed with an eye on the future, but one on the past, too." Amaro said, "We talked about a couple of (trades) late. I guess the bottom line was we didn't find anything that was satisfactory. Nothing we thought was going to improve us." But Lawrence writes just because the Phillies "were inactive yesterday does not mean they won't look to be active this month" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/1).

HARDLY BUMMIN' IT: In L.A., Helene Elliott writes Dodger Stadium has been "alive the last few weeks, a magnet for entertainment and athletic stars," and team investor Magic Johnson "hopes that will last" (L.A. TIMES, 8/1). Also in L.A., Chris Erskine writes the Dodgers' new Dugout Club "isn't everybody's cup of high-priced tea," but should fans get the chance, "you might consider going." The 880-seat section behind home plate "ranks right up there with the elite options across the nation." Parking and food are "included in the price of the tickets, which range from $400 to $800." Fans in the club sometimes are "seated so low you lose fly balls against the backdrop of the crowd" (L.A. TIMES, 8/1).
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