MLB roundup: Astros expected to make a big splash this offseason

Houston has plenty of talented young players, including Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve, but they lack veteran leadership. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

The only teams remotely close to the Chicago Cubs in the collection of young, high-quality position-player talent these days are the Boston Red Sox, with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts & Co., and the Houston Astros, whose batting order is filled with star-caliber players, including Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Alex Bregman.

But there has been one significant difference between the Astros and those other two teams. The Cubs' young stars have been surrounded by veterans like David Ross, Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward, who has been widely credited with saying exactly the right thing at the right time to teammates before play resumed in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series. The Red Sox have had Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to cajole and counsel the others.

The Astros, on the other hand, are a team perceived by players and agents as a team desperately needing some experienced players to provide guidance in a clubhouse lacking a leadership rudder. It is because of this void that some rival evaluators sense Houston will be among the most aggressive teams in making lineup additions this offseason.