*Have you read The Blinds yet? No? What the hell is wrong with you?
*In The Athletic, Jake Kaplan discusses what new Orioles GM Mike Elias' departure means for the Astros' front office. Kaplan:
Whether in amateur scouting or international scouting or both, special assistants Kevin Goldstein and Oz Ocampo are among those who could see an increase in responsibilities moving forward. Both are former department directors with experience in one or both of the amateur and international arenas.
Chandler Rome spoke with Luhnow about how the Astros plan to replace new Orioles GM Mike Elias. Luhnow:
I don't think there's any magic formula, having one or two or three assistant GMs like some clubs have. I think it's a matter of making sure you have the right people in the right spots overseeing the critical functions. We were preparing for this eventuality, we've got really good bench strength across the entire organization and feel pretty good that we're not going to skip a beat in this year's draft, the international market or really anywhere else.
*The Mariners traded James Paxton to the Yankees for three prospects, including pitcher and #1 prospect Justus Sheffield. The Yankees are really taking this whole "losing-in-the-playoffs-to-the-eventual-World-Series-champs" thing seriously. The Astros were in on Paxton but refused to include Forrest Whitley in a trade package.
*Speaking of the rotation, the Astros have apparently made a one-year offer to Charlie Morton with an additional option year. Unsure if it's a team- or player-option.
*Per Ken Rosenthal: Houston and St. Louis have had "the most meaningful discussions" with Arizona regarding a trade for Paul Goldschmidt. I assume this means they've discussed having kids and their worst fears. Goldschmidt is from The Woodlands and went to Texas State. Thus I have completed the Southeast Texas task of noting when a player linked to the Astros is from the Houston area.
It's worth mentioning this Bleacher Report...report that the Diamondbacks have discussed a Goldschmidt/Greinke package.
I would like you, for one moment, to imagine a lineup that looks like this:
Combined with a rotation that looks like:
Trading Goldschmidt and Greinke together would save Arizona $119m over the next three years.
*The Astros will host the Yankees on ESPN on April 8 and April 9.
*Houston has until Tuesday afternoon to add Rule 5-eligible players to the 40-Man Roster, protecting them from next month's draft. The Astros have 35 Men on the 40-Man Roster. They have four players in their Top 30 prospects list who are Rule 5-eligible:
#12 - RHP Rogelio Armenteros, an AC Favorite.
#15 - C Garrett Stubbs
#17 - RHP Riley Ferrell
#23 - SS Jonathan Arauz
Armenteros, 24, is 16-2 with a 3.32 ERA / 1.22 WHIP, 206K:67BB in 176.1IP at Triple-A Fresno. I would very much like to see him get a spot on the 40-Man. This, of course, has the weight of the world behind it.
Stubbs, 25, is a catcher. The Astros have like three catchers total. He hit .310/.382/.455 in 84 games for Fresno last season. The only catchers in front of him on the depth chart are Max Stassi and Chris Herrmann (Park).
Ferrell, 25, was the Astros' 3rd Round pick in 2015. He struggled like hell in 2018 at Triple-A, throwing 28IP, 34H/21ER, 34K:16BB - a 6.75 ERA / 1.79 WHIP. He also went to A&M Consolidated High School and, for reasons not associated with Ferrell...or baseball, I'm not a fan of A&M Consolidated High School. Still, that was his first taste of Triple-A. It wouldn't be unheard of for one of the 22 non-contending MLB teams to take a flyer on Ferrell.
Arauz, who is somehow only 20 years old, came over to the Astros in the fabled Ken Giles/Mark Appel trade, which totally worked out for both sides. He's the least likely to get selected next month because he has only played 71 games at High-A, and had a .511 OPS at that. Hard to see too many teams lining up to give him a 25-Man Roster spot.
*Randy Cesar signed with the Twins, so 2017 4th Round pick Peter Solomon entered the Astros' Top 30 prospects list, at #26. Click that link. That system is thicc. Solomon has 114 strikeouts in 100.1IP with 26K:4BB in 23IP at High-A in 2018.
*Josh Big Flames James had a baby Lil' Flames boy.
*For the first time in franchise history, the Astros have four ex-players on the Hall of Fame ballot.
*The Astros lost their assistant athletic trainer to the Brewers.
*The Atlantic: A Deadly Tsunami of Fire.
*The Guardian: The multi-billionaire philanthropist Sackler family (think art museum at Harvard, Victoria & Albert Museum in London) are getting sued mainly because they're behind Purdue Pharma, who makes and distributes OxyContin.
*Say what you want about the integrity of baseball (of course the Astros ruined it), but at least they weren't creating controversy by farting.
*I'm sure I'm not the first to post it. I haven't yet seen Bohemian Rhapsody, but I have watched their full Live-Aid concert about six times in the last four days: