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Mark Loretta an Astro

Loretta picked a bad season to have an off year, as he could've seriously raked in the dough if he had been coming off a strong 2006.  Here's an early take on his role in Houston:

Craig Biggio has long been entrenched as the starting second baseman for the Astros. But Garber said Loretta, who has also played first, third and shortstop during his career, will play "all over the infield" for Houston.

It's too bad for Loretta, really: he might be a better bet as a starter than Biggio for next year.  It's a nice move for the Astros: given that the cash will be about the same (Loretta's making $2.5M with an additional million in incentives), I'd much rather have Mark than Tony Graffanino.