You get a contract... you get a contract... YOU ALL GET A CONTRACT!!!
The Astros have approximately five hours (at the time of writing) to tender contracts to their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players, else they become free-agents. Alex Presley has already signed for a mil, so the arbitration-eligable players needing contracts include Dexter Fowler, Tony Sipp, Chris Carter, Marwin Gonzalez, and catchers Hank Conger, Jason Castro and Carlos Corporan.
Guys like Josh Fields, Marc Krauss and so forth - who are all pre-arbitration, also need to be tendered contracts, but these are usually a little more than the league-minimum, so are often considered a no-brainer if the club has bothered to keep them on the 40-man.
Some interesting players have been non-tendered by their respective clubs, including double-Tommy John survivors Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy. Should the Astros be able to sign Kris Medlen, I would be very happy.
At the time of writing, no word from the Astros or elsewhere about the tenders. Check back here over the next five hours for your up-to-date Astros contract situation.
8:15pm CT: No word from the Astros as yet. Bizarrely, the Dodgers have traded for an outfielder and the Twins have signed up for a Torii Hunter reunion, so there are some things happening.
9pm CT: Still no word on twitter or official press release. Something is happening out there - the Dodgers may be moving pieces around soon perhaps, but whether this involves the Astros remains to be seen. Many teams have issued press releases about the tender decisions already, so perhaps something is going on. Stay tuned.
9:05pm CT: Everth Cabrera, Padres shortstop with... um... "makeup issues" has been non tendered too. He has a DUI and a Biogenesis suspension on his record, and he was offensively awful to the tune of .232/.272/.300 in 2014. He seems to have reasonable defense, according to the unintelligible numbers at B-R. The Astros Twitterartii are getting a little excited about a couple of these non-tenders, especially Medlen and Beachy.
9:20pm CT: It remains quiet for a number of teams, and there is a little bit of trade chatter on Twitter. Something is goin' down, I can feel it in my bones. Whether it involves the Astros or not remains to be seen. Wesley Wright has been non-tendered by the Cubbies - will the Astros treat him as their Torii Hunter-like prodigal son? And Kyle Blanks has been non-tendered a contract, but we knew that because he was DFA'd. What this tells us is that he has not been claimed yet - or it he has, it hasn't been made official.
Remembering, of course, all non-tenders become free agents, and can sign with anyone. But if I were the Astros, I would certainly be interested in Medlen and Beachy.
9:35pm CT: And Fowler seems to be the most frequently bandied about name. To the Blue Jays, apparently, which makes perfect sense for them, given their hole in CF and Fowler's switch-hit abilities. In other news, Alexi Ogando has been non-tendered by the Rangers, which could also be an interesting pickup.
9:37pm CT: And Brian McTaggart gets the scoop. Astros tend contracts to all eligible players. What a let-down. I was hoping to see a Michael Feliz-like eleventh-hour backtrack on a Jason Castro or Hank Conger. Nothing official on the Astros website as yet.
9:50pm CT: Do the Astros need a third baseman?? Juan Francisco, anyone?? Thought not. No official confirmation on Astros website yet.
10:10pm CT: Aaannnnddd we have official confirmation from the Astros, via press release.
11pm CT: Fowler to Jays is fairly serious. I say the Astros should sweeten the deal with (perhaps) MarGo, and make sure they get a top prospect back. A 2-for-1 swap for a high ceiling player - á la Fowler last year - would be awesome.
11:40pm CT: And now the Blue Jays have non-tendered three players: John Mayberry Jr, Justin Smoak and Andy Dirks. Is there something about to go down?? Of course, this is different to them being DFA'd in anticipation of a trade - the Jays may not be clearing necessarily clearing roster spots for any reason.
The twitterartii have gone to bed, so that medium is not going to be very good for rumour-mongering. I will keep an eye on MLBTR and see what happens, although unlikely any announcements will be made tonight.
12:20pm CT: Interestingly, the Jays now have only three outfielders on their 40-man. Significant?? Yes, probably. Significant for the Astros?? Who knows!
I wonder if J.A. Happ will be coming back to Houston? He has been mooted as a piece to be moved by virtue of his salary, which is $6M or so. He seemed to add about 2-3mph to his fastball once in Toronto, but that may have been something to do with the currency conversion rate. Or something. Not suggesting that the Astros get Happ - he is another back-of-the-rotation guy who they seem to have in spades at the moment - but it would be kind of neat in some ways.
Dioner Navarro is mooted as another mildly-expensive Blue Jay who looks to be boxed out of a position, who may get traded as much for salary relief as anything else. I suggest to the Astros to go get Navarro, and see if they can fill the entire 40-man just with catchers and pitchers. A journo covering the Jays recently published a lineup that had Navarro at DH. That could go quite well... or very badly, given his up-and-down offensive history.
2:10am CT: I am going to wait this Fowler situation out, and try and bring to all you 17 readers as early as possible. *Yawn* I mean, how long can it go on?? There is something brewing and I want to..... zzzZZzzZzzzz