Ken Rosenthal doesn't see Andy Pettitte returning to Houston. Ken Rosenthal is so far behind Astros County. We called that 10 days ago. However, Rosenthal does say this:
While Pettitte's hometown Astros are in dire need of starting pitching, owner Drayton McLane still might be peeved about the pitcher's departure in '06. Pettitte's return to Houston, one source says, is "highly unlikely."
The Astros are trying to re-sign free-agent left-hander Randy Wolf. Right-hander Ben Sheets and lefties Mike Hampton and Randy Johnson are among the other starting pitchers on their radar.
However, the team needs to shed payroll and likely will explore trades for players such as third baseman Ty Wigginton, closer Jose Valverde and shortstop Miguel Tejada, sources say.
Shedding the payroll of Wigginton, Valverde and Tejada would total at least $23 million - as Wigginton and Valverde head into arbitration in January. Available free agent third baseman include: Casey Blake, Joe Crede, Morgan Ensberg, Corey Koskie and Greg Norton. Relievers and closers are too numerous to mention, even in a limitless medium. Anybody want to give Ensberg another shot?