HOT STOVE

How AL West free agency splashes just became tidal waves for Correa, Astros

Correa knows it's time for his payday. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Rangers made a big splash over the weekend when they agreed to terms on a 7-year $175 million contract with infielder Marcus Semien. Apparently, that was just the tip of the iceberg. According to multiple reports, the Rangers have also added arguably the most coveted player in free agency, Corey Seager. Seager and the Rangers have agreed to a massive 10-year $325 million contract.

Before the Seager news broke, many were starting to wonder if teams would be willing to hand out 10-year deals for over 300 million dollars with the lockout just around the corner. Now we have our answer, and Carlos Correa has to be a very happy man to see how the market is shifting. The Rangers not only added two incredible players, but they also made it pretty much a certainty that Correa will either leave Houston, or the Astros will have to sign him to a long-term $300 million deal, which is not likely based on their stance on multi-year big money contracts.

The Rangers aren't the only team in the AL West making blockbuster moves. The Mariners agreed to terms with 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray on Monday. Ray and Seattle agreed to a 5-year, $115 million contract.

The Angels joined in on the action a couple of weeks ago when they signed Noah Syndergard to a 1-year 21 million dollar deal.

Clearly, the AL West is on notice that they're going to have to make big changes if they want to compete with the Houston Astros who have dominated the AL recently with 5 straight ALCS appearances and 3 trips to the World Series. With Correa likely out the door in Houston, these teams might believe this is a perfect time to make a run at the division and finally knock off the Astros. Only time will tell if these deals will work, and the Astros look to have a terrific team this season whether Correa returns or not.

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DeMeco values leadership at the QB position above all else. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

With the NFL Draft getting closer and closer, it is becoming more likely the Houston Texans will be taking a quarterback with its No. 2 overall pick.

With a plethora of options available — from Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis or Anthony Richardson — head coach DeMeco Ryans recently talked about what quality he believes a quarterback should have in the NFL. It is leadership.

“Is that quarterback a guy who can galvanize a locker room and rally the troops and get guys to believe in him,” Ryans said. “That's the trait. It's easier said than done because only so few guys can do that.”

While it may be cliché, Ryans makes a great point about why leadership is a non-negotiable for his play caller.

The quarterback position is the face of the franchise. He is the person media talk to every single week, and is the person who gets a huge share of the credit or blame when it comes to the team’s success or lack thereof.

Whoever the Texans pick at No. 2, if it indeed is a quarterback, will also be tasked with leading Houston throughout its rebuild on the field. But how can the team’s staff evaluate leadership?

As advanced as stats have gotten over the years, there is nothing you can look at to quantify leadership points. It all depends on personal evaluation.

For Houston, the decision on whom the next quarterback for the team is, could well be made over the course of the next few days.

The Texans will bring both Young and Stroud to Houston for individual meetings, according to Aaron Wilson. Both have consistently been quarterback No. 1 and No. 2 throughout the entire process.

There is no doubt Ryans and general manager Nick Caserio will be trying to gauge where each respective prospect ranks in leadership when they step foot in NRG Stadium.

Ryans believes the franchise quarterback needs to be seen by his teammates both on offense and defense and instill confidence in them that he can be counted on to make a play. Hosting prospects is one way to get a gauge in that area, which the Texans will have the opportunity to do.

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