*The son of Braves manager Brian Snitker - Troy Snitker - was announced as one of the Astros' hitting coaches for 2019. Snitker was Corpus' hitting coach in 2018. He'll share hitting coach duties with Alex Cintron, who was 2018's 1B coach. Also Don Kelly was named as Cintron's replacement and Josh Miller was promoted to bullpen coach from minor-league pitching coordinator.
Kelly, born about two weeks after me, hit .230 with 23 home runs in his career. He made his MLB debut on April 2, 2007 against the Astros at Minute Maid Park and was longish-time teammates with Justin Verlander in Detroit, where he was a scout. Kelly:
Detroit's a second home to us, but this was too good.
*Jon Morosi reiterated the Astros' interest in DH Nelson Cruz.
*SI: The Mets are "seriously considering" trading Noah Syndergaard. If the Astros could somehow acquire Syndergaard, they would have the four best Hairs in the Majors (Cole, Gurriel, McCullers, Thor).
*Check out Brian McTaggart's inbox, where he discusses the possibility of bringing back Marwin and of signing Bryce Harper.
*Here's Jake Kaplan on why the Astros spent a 40-Man spot on Bryan Abreu, who appeared as high as Quad Cities last year. Kaplan:
Abreu's best weapon is a 12-6 curveball that team officials believe rivals any in their minor-league system. His fastball velocity sits in the low-to-mid 90s, and he rounds out his repertoire with a slidere and a changeup.
I think Bryan is one of those guys that, had we left him unprotected, people would have heard of him because someone might have popped him (in the Rule 5 Draft). He's just one of those big arms that tends to get popped in the Rule 5 even though he hasn't pitched above A-ball.
Awfully bold to use "popped" twice about a pitcher after the Brady Aiken Debacle (eyes roll out of head).
*A bunch of Astros went out into the community to help people.
*SI's Ben Reiter wrote about what it's like to correctly predict a World Series title 3+ years out, and fail on the repeat.
*The Rays hired Rodney Linares as their 3B Coach. Linares had spent 22 years with the Astros organization with a 787-752 record as manager since 2007. He had just finished an 82-57 campaign with Fresno - and six winning seasons in his previous seven - before the Astros let him go on September 18. The Astros' Triple-A franchise will return to Round Rock for 2019.
Linares, on the call from Tampa Bay:
I was speechless, it took me a little while to gather my thoughts after I was told. It was such a blessing. I immediately started crying and I called my dad right away. It was just a special moment. You work your whole life to get to the big leagues and now this opportunity arises. It's an amazing feeling.
New #Rays 3B coach Linares had his car stolen 1st week back in DR, lost his US cell phone so Cash wasn't able to reach him. #Astros manager A.J. Hinch reached out on Instagram to tell Linares of #Rays interest and they connected.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) November 21, 2018
*Unsurprisingly, Sig Mejdal will be Mike Elias' assistant GM for analytics in Baltimore. So that's Elias and Sig in Baltimore, Mike Fast in Atlanta. Hope Osuna was worth it.
*Thanks, Jose Altuve, for putting everyone into Panic Mode:
This is frustrating!!! I can’t take it anymore. No más. I’m quitting!— Jose Altuve (@JoseAltuve27) November 21, 2018
*Buster Olney: Why the Marlins need to trade J.T. Realmuto.
Astros County: ...To the Astros...For three bags of peanuts and a bus.
*Unlocked on The Athletic: FOAC Levi Weaver, on the magic of Adrian Beltre.
*Good news for Danny Farquhar, who had an aneurysm in the dugout during an April appearance against the Astros, and was medically cleared to resume baseball activities.
*FanGraphs: The Braves' profits provide a look at baseball's financials.
*A start-up company is trying to pool together minor-leaguers' earnings in an effort to share risk.
*Jay Jaffe: Slights, Returns, and Hall of Fame Ballots.
*El Chapo's trial is NUTS.