The Hot Stove is truly, literally, upon us.
Castro ranks #1 on the all-time FanGraphs Astros Catcher leaderboard with 10.8 fWAR. He's seven home runs away from tying Alan Ashby for the most homers by an Astros catcher. Friend of Astros County (FOAC) Daren Willman notes that Castro ranked in the Top 20 in MLB for Hard-Hit rate over the span from 2019-2020, and he is a good defensive catcher, and will be a valuable backup in managing the pitching staff for Machete. I can't be mad at this move, but if I'm Garrett Stubbs, I'm livid.
FanGraphs' Ben Clemens on the Castro signing. This is a really good in-depth article about what Jason Castro brings to the Astros.
*Carlos Correa said - after getting sent to an arbitration hearing - he wants to be "an Astro for life." We also find that the Astros basically were out on Springer as soon as he turned down the Qualifying Offer, which is very cool.
*It is very early in the offseason but Jake Kaplan took Crack 1.0 at the Opening Day roster. (Please let me be clear: I am not accusing Jake Kaplan of "taking Crack." I am simply saying that he took a stab at what the Opening Day roster. Please let me be clear: I am not saying that Jake Kaplan stabbed somebody. I am saying you know what never mind. Jake Kaplan stabs people while smoking crack.)
*Chandler Rome says Michael Brantley's return is a good counter from the absence of Springer's production.
*Baseball Prospectus has their 101 Prospects list. It's paywalled, and I don't have a subscription (I have to draw the line somewhere), but I have deduced that Forrest Whitley is 69th and Jeremy Pena is 82nd. Pena is also MLB.com's pick for Best Defensive Prospect.
*Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio (and Andre Johnson, Guy V. Lewis, and Bill Yeoman) were elected to the Houston Sports Hall of Fame.
*Former Astros Great Joe Musgrove has elite penmanship.
*SI: It's beyond time to change the treatment of women reporters.
*Because there was no other reason to occupy their time, the Secret Service did a 9-month investigation into John Mulaney because of a joke on Jimmy Kimmel's show.
*Oh hey I was on KHOU's very own Daniel Gotera's podcast on Thursday.
*A Musical Selection: