We're back! After a little week-long break over the holidays in which nothing of note happened, Astros County bolg is in full swing. We have some features planned, and lots of Bagwell love/angst surrounding the announcement of the HOF vote. We're getting into Spring Training mode. Call it Winter Training. Here's some links:
*Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the White Sox have daily trade discussions on Jose Quintana, with the Astros and Pirates involved.
This comes on the heels of Peter Gammons apparently saying on MLB Network that the Astros offered Kyle Tucker, Francis Martes, David Paulino and two other prospects to Tampa Bay for Chris Archer, and they said no. I am fully aware of my Acute Prospect Attachment Syndrome (APAS) and this seems absolutely ridiculous to me. I refuse to believe that Tampa Bay actually turned this deal down. So maybe these two reports are related. What if Gammons' source is actually familiar with the White Sox in some capacity and that source is trying to grease the wheels on a Quintana trade? I don't have any information that this is happening, but I do know that teams not necessarily involved will throw something at a reporter to see if it can benefit their own negotiations.
*Jeff Bagwell was on Astroline last night and is actually paying attention to the balloting:
I guess I'm anxious. I just want to get it over with. This is the first year I've kind of been keeping track of it and just looking. I'm excited about it.
*167 HOF ballots are known, and Bagwell has appeared on 92.2%, well above the 75% necessary for induction.
*Jon Heyman's ballot: Yes to McGriff, Vlad, Pudge (!), no to Bagwell. He explains his argument in full within the link but here's an amazing pull:
The whispers surrounding (PEDs and) Jeff Bagwell are surely quite a bit quieter. There was the Androstenedione revelation (the Houston Chronicle once reported he admitted using the performance enhancer before it was banned), a clear Astros connection to steroids and performance enhancers (Ken Caminiti was honest about it, but there were others)...
But yeah, Pudge gets a vote. Oh, and if you want to read a little bit more about Bagwell's power jump from 1993 to 1994 and Caminiti/steroids (which he didn't start using until he was in San Diego), you can click this five-year old link.
*MLB.com took a look at Bagwell's ridiculous 1994 season.
*George Springer will not play in the World Baseball Classic.
*Former Astros minor-league outfielder Drew Muren is now a flame-throwing closer prospect with Arizona.
*Former Astros minor-leaguer Jimmy Van Ostrand is now the Mariners' minor league coordinator of character and leadership development.
*Is Luis Valbuena the top remaining free agent?
*Here's a story about Mark Melancon, Hunter Pence, and hot yoga.