*FanFest was yesterday so there's actually something to (maybe) write about. Let's see:
*When are the Astros gonna do something (besides trade for Aledmys Diaz and sign Michael Brantley)? Luhnow says there's a "decent likelihood" of at least one more move. Would that include bringing back Keuchel and/or Marwin? Jim Crane said the door is open.
Given the Diaz trade it seems more likely that Keuchel returns than Marwin, though I don't have a clue as to whether those are "10% chance is better than 5% chance" type of odds.
*Jose Altuve is expected to be ready for Spring Training after suffering a broken kneecap at some point in 2018.
*You knew this if you had listened to the Lima Time Time podcast with Lance McCullers, Jr., but LMJ has hit "every benchmark" required to begin the rehab process from Tommy John surgery.
*Justin Verlander is open to signing an extension with the Astros.
*The Astros and Correa have not yet discussed an extension, or in buying out arbitration years. Correa:
For me, right now is not the time to talk about [an extension]. Obviously coming off the injury last year and the down year. I'm looking forward to bouncing back this year, be the player I am and we go from there.
*What with Joe Smith out at least for the first part of the season, the Astros are open to adding a reliever. Just get one from the Reliever Tree behind Minute Maid Park, jeez.
*Oh hey the Astros putting six prospects on the MLB.com Top 100 list:
7. Forrest Whitley
8. Kyle Tucker
44. Yordan Alvarez
62. Josh James
81. Corbin Martin
97. J.B. Bukauskas
Whitley is the highest-rated pitching prospect and baha remember when the Nationals could have had Bukauskas and others if they just would have let Bryce Harper play in Houston for the last two and a half months of the season? Cool front office, dudes.
San Diego and Atlanta are the only two teams with more prospects on the Top 100 list. Minnesota is the only other team with two prospects in the Top 10.
Here's how the AL West shakes out in terms of prospects on the Top 100, with the highest ranking prospect number in parentheses)
Houston: 6 (7)
Oakland: 3 (12)
Arlington: 3 (85)
Seattle: 3 (43)
Anaheim: 2 (14)
*Brian T. Smith says FanFest is fun and all, but another free agency move may be needed. Smith is in mid-season form, as the three opening sentences of the piece are one-sentence paragraphs.
*The Astros' Hall of Fame & Museum will open in March, and Alyson Footer has the details.
*Ozzie Guillen's son, Ozney, will be Tri-City's manager in 2019.
*Talks regarding J.T. Realmuto have apparently picked up, but the Marlins won't let teams discuss a contract extension with Realmuto in this, a free country built on capitalism and oppression.
*The Guardian: Inside the Secret World of Hostage Negotiation.
*The guy who founded Bulletproof Coffee has spent $1m in his quest to live to be 180 years old.
*A Musical Selection: