Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

*CBS Chicago's Bruce Levine says that the Astros, White Sox, Angels, Mets, and Braves seem to have the most serious interest in free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

Levine notes that the Mets and Braves are more willing to offer a short-term contract, while this report says the Angels won't pursue Cespedes because of luxury tax concerns. He says the White Sox, who are in win-now mode because of the deals for Brett Lawrie and Todd Frazier, not mentioning that division rivals Detroit just signed Justin Upton and Kansas City is the reigning World Series champion and just re-signed Alex Gordon.

Of course the Astros already have outfielders Springer, Rasmus, Gomez (both of whom are not under contract following the 2016 season), Marisnick, Preston Tucker, and Andrew Aplin on 40-Man, with Derek Fisher, Daz Cameron, and Kyle Tucker on the way...

*This web site thinks the Astros should trade George Springer to the Mets if they sign Cespedes.

*Marwin Gonzalez played from mid-September through the end of the playoffs with a hurt left finer and wrist, limiting his effectiveness.
It was just really painful. Actually, when I was missing the ball or getting jammed, right-handed it was hurting too. It wasn't just left-handed. But lefty was worse.

Doctors recommended rest and Marwin *should* be good to go by Spring Training.

*There's an update to that MLB/Garber case to which we linked last week regarding the broadcasting of MLB games. Garber and MLB settled out of court. Among the details:
*MLB will offer single-team MLB.TV packages for $84.99.
*But blackouts will still exist...
*...unless you already subscribe to an RSN like Root Sports SW. (Or if you have an IP scrambler, but that's neither here nor there).

(UPDATE: It seems as though MLB.TV will offer a "Follow Your Team" function and allow you to watch un-blacked out away broadcasts of games).

It's not the Best News Ever, but it's a step in the right direction. Every season I tell myself I'm going to watch more non-Astros baseball. And I do, when my wife isn't home and my kid's asleep, and there's not an Astros game on. Those occurrences happen almost never, so if you're like me and are a teacher with a kid and a mortgage and student loans and medical bills, the price reduction to go Astros-only is a nice little concession. Now about those blackouts...

*Colby Rasmus wants to finish his career in Houston.
As I stand here right now, I'd like to see myself in Houston for the rest of my playing days...I think that would be great for my family...I think it's great people, great atmosphere they're trying to create.

He also used the phrase "Nut up or shut up," proving once again that Colby Rasmus is a national treasure.

And regarding the most badass of images during the postseason run?
They tried to throw a shirt at me, but when the champagne and the beer bottles started popping, I said, 'I ain't wearing no shirt.' That's when I threw my goggles on and let it all hang out.

*Brad Peacock is ready to compete for a rotation spot in 2015 following a variety of ailments that limited him to one appearance last season.

*The Astros released minor-league pitchers Zach Davis, Jorge Perez, and Lachlan Madden.

*Here's one to keep an eye on: Yu Darvish's younger brother has been charged with running an illegal gambling ring in Japan, and MLB is looking into whether there's a link between the ring and Darvish himself.

*If you would like to upgrade at catcher via what would be an expensive trade, Jonathan Lucroy just might be available.

*Before you go, here's Colby Rasmus taking orders at a San Antonio Whataburger.