*Boston got Chris Sale, which means the Astros didn't get Chris Sale (and also means the Ramgers didn't get Chris Sale, either). The cost was Yoan Moncada (maybe the best prospect in baseball) and Michael Kopech - a flame-throwing pitcher who apparently hit 105mph on the radar gun - plus two more prospects. The Chron's Jake Kaplan:
Market dynamics are such that the Astros probably wouldn't be able to acquire a pitcher the caliber of...Chris Archer or...Jose Quintana without parting with Alex Bregman as a centerpiece to the deal. That is a price they are not willing to meet.
Luhnow doesn't feel the urgency of adding a starting pitcher this week at the Winter Meetings:
I don't feel like we have to do anything this week necessarily, and it could be that if we have any moves left, it's going to happen after the winter meetings...but we're certainly active in finding out what's available and how much it would cost us.
Lots of good quotes from Luhnow on how he sees the rotation shaping up, so be sure to click and give that one a full read.
*As with free agency deals, the Sale trade provides a reference point for the Rays in negotiations for Chris Archer. Rays GM Erik Neander, of Chris Archer:
You're talking about a top-end talent with three years of control. The price to get those guys is not cheap.
*Excellent article from The Ringer's Michael Baumann: The Astros aren't trying to be the Cubs anymore.
*A.J. Hinch is pretty excited about filling out his lineup card next season:
It's been exciting...we were the most active team with the most success at getting to the finish line. We've got to be one of the [deepest] teams, position-player-wise, in our league.
*McTaggart thinks that the Astros are more keyed-in on Jake Odorizzi, Sonny Gray, and Drew Pomeranz than they are Chris Archer.
*The additions of Reddick and Beltran likely push Yuli Gurriel to 1B, and A.J. Hinch is just fine with that:
We threw him in the middle of the pennant race at first base in [South Ardmore] and he was a little raw because of the responsibilities that come with the position. But he can play infield. He has good footwork. He can handle the glove...him getting a full Spring Training of work at first base will do wonders for him.
*The Astros are going to prepare Chris Devenski as a starter going into Spring Training before determining if he's in the rotation or the bullpen. Luhnow:
He's going to be a multi-inning pitcher one way or another. Whether it's two or five or seven (innings), that remains to be seen.
*Michael Feliz, however, will likely stay in the bullpen until he can develop his changeup.
*The Astros signed LHP C.J. Riefenhauser to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Riefenhauser's MLB numbers don't exactly blow up your skirt, but the 26-year old is dealing with a small sample size there - he only allowed runs in four of his 17 appearances in 2015, and they were all 2-3ER allowed. Still, you see the Astros making yet another move to shore up their lefty reliever role. His 2.62 ERA/1.10 WHIP in Triple-A is worthy of at least a look.
*Carlos Gomez re-signed with the Rangers on a 1yr/$11.5m deal for 2017.
*The fun part will be the potential for a rematch, 19 times over, between Astros Great Brian McCann and Noted Asshole Carlos Gomez. From September 2013:
*With 19 ballots known so far, Bagwell is running at 86% in the BBWAA.