*Jake Kaplan has ten thoughts on the Astros as the Winter Meetings get underway. Among the names bandied about: Arizona's Robbie Ray, St. Louis' Jose Martinez, Nelson Cruz, Daniel Murphy.
*It doesn't look as though Houston is in on Japanese LHP Yusei Kikuchi.
*The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reports that the Astros have checked in with the White Sox on Jose Abreu.
*Jon Heyman said the Astros were dangling J.B. Bukauskas and Cionel Perez to Arizona for Paul Goldschmidt.
*Buster Olney has an Insider-Only piece that tells us:
-The Astros have competition looking for a starting catcher in the Dodgers and Mets.
-The Astros were not seriously involved in chasing down Nate Eovaldi, but it seems as though the Astros are more interested in upgrading the rotation via trade (meaning Kluber or Bauer or Syndergaard or Greinke).
*The price tag for Kluber or Tyler Bauer is said to be "very, very high." And why not? Also, I feel that if the Astros acquire Tyler Bauer it will be solely to troll me, personally.
*If you want Robbie Ray - a 27-year old lefty with 601 strikeouts in 460IP and a 3.89 FIP over the last three years, with two years of team control remaining - the price tag is pretty high.
*The Padres are interested in Marwin. Any team with a brain and/or a pulse should be interested in Marwin.
*Alyson Footer writes about the two-day women's inclusion conference hosted by MLB.
*Todd Kalas stays winning.
Bloodys and a day of football. Not a bad way to kick off Winter Meetings @MandalayBay pic.twitter.com/IerFq5souQ— Todd Kalas (@RealToddKalas) December 9, 2018
*Sunday Night Baseball games will be an hour earlier next season.
on B-Ref are Hall of Famers Tony Perez (1), Al Kaline (2), Billy Williams (4), and Andre Dawson (5). His election to the Hall of Fame significantly helps Jeff Kent, Carlos Beltran, Dale Murphy, and Edgar Martinez.
*If this Irish woman and her husband, a 300-year old Pirate Ghost, can't make it then what hope do the rest of us have?
*A musical selection: