On Saturday, I started the Climbing Out of the Canyon series with Part 1, which previewed the 2007 Cardinals. Continuing on down the '06 final standings, I'm ready for Part 2 and the Houston Astros.
Phil Garner's squad was almost able to capitalize on St. Louis' late-season collapse--but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. They finished at 82-80, 1.5 games out of the division lead, and failed to make the playoffs. A look at their tumultuous offseason, according to the ESPN Hot Stove Index:
ADD: Carlos Lee, OF; Mark Loretta, IF; Woody Williams, SP; Jason Jennings, SP; Miguel Asencio, SP
DROP: Aubrey Huff, CI/OF; Andy Pettitte, SP; Russ Springer, RP; Taylor Buchholz, SP; Jason Hirsh, SP; Willy Taveras, CF
They have one remaining free agent. They call him Rocket. Here's...

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