*The Masked Marvel has a good recap of the Astros' additions and subtractions thus far in the offseason.
*Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros made a big play for Yoenis Cespedes, who ended up signing a 4yr/$110m deal with New York. Which is notable because...
*Edwin Encarnacion will apparently sign with a team soon. The Astros are seemingly hard after Encarnacion, according to the ESPN baseball guys. Three randoms tweeted that Encarnacion will sign with the Astros.
*ESPN's Jim Ralph Bowden is reporting that the Astros are among four teams "in full pursuit" of Rich Hill.
*Ken Rosenthal talked to a "rival exec" who believes the Astros are loading up on offense to give them the flexibility to deal talent for an elite starter. *IF* the Astros do sign Encarnacion, that leaves flexibility for someone like George Springer or Alex Bregman to highlight a package for someone like Chris Sale.
*There is cautious optimism regarding the ratification of a new CBA.
*George Springer is ready to play more CF:
I will do whatever A.J. asks me to do. I understand (Reddick's) positioning and understand where I played the last two years, but I'll do whatever it is they ask me and give the exact same effort.
The Astros have a lot of defensive options in the outfield, between Springer, Reddick, Gurriel, Marisnick, and Aoki.
Springer, on how hard Reddick plays:
He's played a very, very hard style of baseball and that's obviously wanted. He reminds me of almost like a dog. He goes after it until he gets it. Plus, he can throw.
Definitely need to get a dog who can throw.
*The Mariners are interested in Doug Fister.
*Japan's Shohei Otani could blow up next year's free agency class.
*Houston's Bill Neder won the contest that made the new Houston baseball franchise the Colt .45s. His grandson just won the contest that named Waco's new baseball team.
*Atletico Nacional - the team who was supposed to play Chapacoense in the Copa Sudamerica final before Chapacoense's tragic plane crash - wants to award the title to the grief-stricken club.