*The Astros and Dallas Keuchel have not yet actually talked about an extension. Keuchel's agent Derek Braunecker:
At this point, we have not engaged the club in any sort of long-term discussion. It's common knowledge that we had some discussion during the season last year and it was just preliminary seeing where one another stood. They approached us, kicked the tires, and got a sense where both parties were at that time.
This is true. Back in August the Chron ran a piece on how an extension was discussed. Keuchel:
Me personally, it's not about the dollar amount. It's about winning, because it doesn't last forever...So at the end of the day, I just want to win. I want one of those rings. With that being said, it's got to be something that's fair and that's right for both parties. I'm not trying to break the bank. I'm just out here to have fun and pitch and do the best I can.
*Brian T. Smith writes that suspicion isn't enough to keep Jeff Bagwell out of the HOF. Dayn Perry breaks down the numbers on Bagwell. With 143 ballots known, Bagwell is around 82%.Astros don't even want to use the word "extension" around Keuchel so they asked him for "that long cord that connects a plug to an outlet"— keithlaw (@keithlaw) January 3, 2016
*Not that it matters for this year's HOF election cycle, but last January Mike Berardino posted a transcript of an interview with Bagwell from 2001 regarding steroids on the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The election announcement is this Wednesday.
*In this Insider-only column, Jim Bowden hears that the Astros trading for Freddie Freeman is "not going to happen."
*The Yankees tried to get Lance McCullers in a trade for Andrew Miller, and "were quickly rebuffed."
*Phillies.com's Todd Zolecki likes the Ken Giles trade from the Phillies perspective because:
30-start, 200-inning pitchers are more difficult to find than effective closers. They also are much more expensive.
*John Perrotto heard from an executive that there are so many bats still available (Upton, Cespedes, Chris Davis, etc) because teams spent all their money on pitching.
*I absolutely despise the idea of giving this dude page views but Murray Chass got mad online yesterday and went HAM on ESPN's Dan Szymborski, said he heard that Biggio took PEDs, and compared sabermetrics to ISIS.