*The Astros work out this week.
*Other teams are interested in Collin McHugh. Like the Twins and, notably, the Orioles. MASN's Roch Kubatko:
It's just a matter, and not a small one, of coming up with a match. What are the Astros seeking in return? What are the Orioles willing to surrender from their farm system? McHugh isn't eligible for free agency until 2020.
Watch the Orioles agree to a deal and find that McHugh had a headache last year and back out. Also, gimme catcher Chance Sisco and we're good. I love Collin McHugh, though.
*Check out Baseball Prospectus' Depth Chart projection of the 2018 MLB season, in which the Astros scrape out a 16-game division win over the Mariners. Here's the playing time projection, as well.
*MLBTR's Tim Dierkes reports that Chris Devenski - who will be arbitration-eligible after the 2018 season - switched agencies and is now represented by the MVP Sports Group, which vaguely sounds like a place where you could watch SportsCenter whilst you get your hair cut. Their website is Basic. Other players the MVP Sports Group represent on MLB rosters include (all names courtesy of the Baseball-Reference Contracts page for each team):
Josh Donaldson, Joey Votto, Danny Espinosa, Yonder Alonso, Matt Davidson, Derek Norris, Carlos Martinez, and Sean Rodriguez. That's it.
Speaking of agencies, here's the agent for each Astros player (source: B-Ref Contracts):
Scott Boras: Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, Marwin Gonzalez, Gerrit Cole, Lance McCullers
The Legacy Agency: George Springer, Evan Gattis, Carlos Correa
ACES: Josh Reddick, Brad Peacock
ISE Baseball: Justin Verlander
BB Abbott: Brian McCann
Bledsoe Brothers: Tony Sipp
Meister Sports Mgmt: Joe Smith
Jet Sports Mgmt: Charlie Morton
Sosnick/Cobbe: Jon Singleton
Gavin Kahn: Will Harris
Octagon: Hector Rondon
Rowley Sports Mgmt: Ken Giles
Reynolds Sports Mgmt: Jake Marisnick
ISE Baseball: Tim Federowicz
Moye Sports Association: Collin McHugh
CAA Sports: Anthony Gose
Wasserman Media Group: Max Stassi
Ballengee Group: Tyler White
*An Astro doesn't crack Joel Sherman's MLB's Most 50 Interesting People for 2018 list, that somehow includes Tim Tebow, until Altuve at #24.
*Help out the Refugio Little League, still feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey.
*Former Astros Great Brandon Laird, who played with Shohei Ohtani in Japan, told the OC Register:
At his age, he's one of the best, if not the best player I've ever seen or had the chance to play with. He's almost like a 10-tool player, a pitcher and hitter who can do it all.
*The Angels are looking to add Rays SP Jake Odorizzi, hoping that him, Ohtani, and a full season Mike Trout minus Pujols-on-a-walker can equal a 21-game improvement.
*The Seattle Times' Ryan Divish: More skepticism than optimism for the 2018 Mariners' fan base.
*This is potentially the last Spring Training the Rangers will have with Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, and Cole Hamels.
*"He's the real deal. You just watch him play catch, and you're like, 'Damn.'" Anthony Fenech on the Tigers' new prospect Franklin Perez.
*Sung Min Kim: The Top MLB Prospects in Asia.
*Popular Mechanics: No one told Babe Ruth he had cancer, but his death changed the way we fight it.
*The Difficulty is the Point: Teaching Spoon-fed Students How to Really Read.
*David Grann (The Lost City of Z, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes) is on my shortlist of Greatest Living American Writers. His recent piece on a modern-day explorer channeling Shackleton in a trek across Antarctica is a great read.