Daily Distractions: Astros already in the cellar, Kobayashi deal official, etc.

If there are 50 ways to leave your lover, there must be 50 more ways to put the Houston Astros’ paltry payroll in perspective.

Jed Lowrie recently signed a one-year, $2.4 million contract to become the team’s third-highest paid player (per Cots) and the fourth-highest if you include Phildelphia Phillies pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who’s still owed a team-high $5 million by the Astros this season. On Monday Lowrie was traded to Oakland for Chris Carter and two minor-leaguers.

Yahoo now calculates that 20 players will make more money in 2013 than the entire Houston team, including Vernon Wells. A large payroll is no guarantee of success and a small payroll is no guarantee of failure. But FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal writes that the question is not where Houston will finish in its new division, but rather how many games it will lose en route to securing the top overall draft pick for the third straight year.

Welcome to the American League West, boys.

Onto the links …

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