*Patrick and I interviewed Astros Director of Pro Scouting Kevin Goldstein for Lima Time Time.
*Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, and Mike Trout are the three finalists for the AL MVP award. As McTaggart notes, Altuve is the first 2B to get to 100 runs, 200 hits, 40 doubles, 20 homers, 95 RBI, and 30 SB in a single season.
If I win it's going to be great, if not, I'm going to feel proud because I feel like I did what I had to do to help my team and I don't want to stop here. Like I said before and will say 100 times, I want to keep getting better.
*McTaggart also notes that the Astros may have no choice but to overpay for Jason Castro, but could be major players in free agency.
*Predictably, the Astros did not extend the 1yr/$17.2m qualifying offer to any of their impending free agents: Colby Rasmus, Jason Castro, Luis Valbuena, or Doug Fister. It's worth noting that some potential free agent targets Edwin Encarnacion, Yoenis Cespedes, Mark Trumbo received Qualifying Offers from their respective teams. This would mean the Astros would lose their 1st Round pick in the 2017 draft should they sign one of these players. Catchers Wilson Ramos and Matt Wieters did not receive a QO.
*That said, the Blue Jays are reportedly making a push to re-sign Edwin Encarnacion.
*You can filter through MLBTR's free agent tracker.
*Francis Martes is using his time in the Arizona Fall League to work on his changeup, while Garrett Stubbs is trying to add some bulk to his frame, and Aaron Rowand - remember him? - guarantees that Ramon Laureano will be a major-leaguer.
*Carlos Gomez would like a five-year deal, please and thank you. Heyman:
Boras pointed out that Gomez, by virtue of his movement from Houston to Texas in-season, can not get a qualifying offer, which should aid him in free agency. The agent also credited the Rangers with helping him receive information that aided his vision, and led to a stark turnaround in performance.
*Pitchers & Catchers report on February 14.