*The Astros hired 14-year MLB veteran Alex Cora to be the new bench coach. Hinch:
I think he brings a lot (to the staff). He's very talented. He's been around the game his whole life. He brings a lot of credibility, a lot of big ideas, a great presence and just a baseball acumen that's necessary to be on a major league staff and impact players.
Be sure to click that link, there's a good story about Hinch from when he was with the Padres scouting Correa, and the relationship between Cora and Correa.
Luhnow on the hot stove being "lukewarm: “We’re hoping to light a match to it at some point here in the next week or so.”— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) November 16, 2016
Oh snap it's lit fam. The Astros are ready to start making deals to get the major league team better, with Luhnow mentioning the possibility of making 1-2 deals *before* the Winter Meetings start on December 4. Luhnow:
I think we're in a position where we did all of our homework ahead of time, we know what holes we need to fill and we can be a little bit more aggressive than we have in years past. There are some teams willing to move quickly and some players and agents that are willing to move more quickly, and we're willing to go as fast as anybody will allow it.
How about that competitive window? Luhnow:
We are going to be competing for the division title I hope every year for the next five years. We want to break through all the way through the World Series and win a championship, and I think it's possible with the core of young, exciting talent we have.
*Luhnow isn't thrilled with the idea of Dallas Keuchel pitching in the World Baseball Classic.
*The Astros were interested, albeit in a limited capacity, in Kendrys Morales, who signed a 3yr/$33m contract with the Blue Jays last week. Ken Rosenthal says in this piece that the Astros and Yankees seem to be "at an impasse" regarding Brian McCann.
*The Astros are with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays as the four most in on Carlos Beltran. The Red Sox like Beltran but, according to the linked story, are waiting to see what the luxury tax threshold may be before making an offer. The Astros are nowhere near being worried about a luxury tax, so if Beltran wants a deal done quickly, that could favor the Astros.
*Just about every team is interested in Chris Sale. But Heyman notes that the White Sox have a strong SS prospect in Tim Anderson, so a deal could get done without including a SS in the deal (he was referring to the Braves, but still...)
*Dave Cameron has the five free agents you might not want.
*The New Orleans Zephyrs are now the New Orleans Baby Cakes.
*Curt Schilling begged Bob Brenly to keep him in G4 of the 2001 World Series...because he knew Brenly was mic'd up.