Here's what happened over the last 24 hours in Luhnow Does San Diego...
*Jim Crane says that $20m is there to spend this off-season, but not just for the sake of spending it.
We're not going to spend it just to spend it. I think definitely the money's available if they need it, and we're looking to fill some voids and improve the team. That could include spending the money and making some trades...Definitely that money's available if they need it, and we could stretch a little if we need to and something came in our direction we felt was the right piece that improved the team.
The right piece needs to be willing to take the money first, though...
*Meanwhile, at some point in the last year, Jeff Luhnow got himself an extension. Though with the timeline given to Evan Drellich by Crane, this extension came before someone leaked Ground Control, or Brady Aiken and Jacob Nix and Mac Marshall went unsigned, or Bo Porter was fired.
*Two of Jon Heyman's sources "familair" (sic) with the Astros' thinking say Chase Headley isn't very high on Houston's priority list, and openly wonders if the NYDN's Bill Madden (who said the Astros offered 5yrs/$65m) didn't fall for a phantom report.
*Jerry Crasnick says that the Astros are one of three teams involved in serious talks with reliever Pat Neshek.
*The Astros have also talked to Sergio Romo and Luke Gregerson.
*L.J. Hoes is being dangled in potential trades involving, yes, relievers.
*The Astros talked to the Nationals about Tyler Clippard, but things "didn't get very far."
*The Astros offering Andrew Miller a potential 5yr/$50m contract - that Miller subsequently turned down - is seen as a positive within baseball, writes Evan Drellich.
*With the Rule 5 draft set for tomorrow (Thursday) morning, Luhnow is gambling that Delino DeShields Jr won't be taken by another team.
*Evan Drellich writes the article about the Astros Tax that we would have written, if we had things like "Access," and "Money/Time to Fly To San Diego."
*The Astros and Kissimmee are almost a lock to break up for Spring Training.
*Could be worse, Astros fans. Nobody from the Brewers has even met with an agent or a representative from another team yet.