WHAT THEY NEEDED: An ace to replace Darryl Kile. Pitching depth. A bit more pop in the outfield.
WHAT THEY GOT: Pitchers Pete Schourek, Sean Bergman and Doug Henry. Outfielders Moises Alou, Dave Clark and Carl Everett. Veteran third baseman Jack Howell.
WHAT IT ALL MEANS: With Alou joining Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio in the lineup, the Astros now have three Grade A sluggers in their primes. Plus, Everett and Clark are above-average hitters who give Houston outfield depth. But unless Schourek and/or Bergman pull an Ali and shock the world, losing Kile is an insurmountable obstacle that leaves Houston with a highly questionable starting staff. And no matter what his parents say, Henry is not the answer.