Thursday, November 9, 2023

Thursday Morning Hot Links

It's time for the GM Meetings, so of course we're going to hear more from Scott Boras than we will Mariah Carey on the radio for the next few days. Unless everyone poops themselves to death and the GM Meetings end early. UPDATE: Everyone's bowels is definitely loose. GM Meetings have been canceled.

*Boras said there have been positive interactions towards extensions for both Altuve and Bregman, but nothing formally yet.

GM Dana Brown:

I think that we understand they have one more year left. And we want to sign them. I think they're interested in being here. I think it's just going to take time to figure out is there going to be somewhere that we can make it work. And that just takes time sometimes. I wish it was easy...but we do have an interest in both guys, for sure. 

There is apparently interest in extending both Framber and Tucker, but since they're under team control for two more years there isn't as much urgency in getting those done.

*Boras also said that Lance McCullers will "no doubt" be pitching in 2024, though Dana Brown expects that to be in July. 

*I think it's a derivative of the previous Athletic link, but Dana Brown addressed the Astros' piss-poor performances at home:

I think it's a fluke. I think it's an aberration. I think if you look at this club, the success that they've had in Houston has been really good. I don't want to get wrapped up into it and make it this big psychological thing. I think the team's been really good. I think it's a fluke. I think guys started talking about it and they started pressing more.

If this was an AP US History written response, I would cross out all of the "I think" phrases. Make a claim. Own it. Be bold, and if you're wrong, be boldly wrong. But don't forget that two teams in professional sports history have lost all four home games in a seven-game series: the 2019 Astros and the 2023 Astros.

*There's some weirdness with the Joe Espada situation. First of all, I did not realize he was only 48. Second, he interviewed for the Astros' manager gig last week. He's been linked to the now-vacant Milwaukee, and while Dana Brown said the Astros "hold the keys to permission" allowing him to interview with the Brewers...

...but they don't. Espada's contract expired on October 31. Espada doesn't need the Astros' permission to do anything. So either Dana Brown didn't know that Espada's contract was up (which is terrible) or he forgot (which isn't great, either). But click that link to see how highly Dana Brown apparently feels about Espada.

A lot of people in the organization think highly of Espada. I think highly of Espada. I just don't know that Crane will let a first-year manager take the reins of a team looking to make its 8th straight ALCS. Crane has managed to surround himself with Reggie Jackson and Jeff Bagwell. Obviously they know Espada better than we do, but Espada isn't a splashy name, and I think Crane is drawn to the splashy name. 

*Matt Kawahara has five free agent reliever options for the Astros.

*The Astros don't have a ton of financial flexibility with which to operate. 

*All that said, it seems like Dana Brown is enjoying his first-ever GM Meetings. And having fun is all that matters. 

*Mike Petriello notes that the Astros have the 2nd-best roster already, entering the 2024 season. Of course Shohei Ohtani hasn't signed with the Rangers yet...

*ESPN's David Schoenfield graded his pre-2023 bold predictions for each team. Yordan's race for the Triple Crown is still on.

*Let's make fun of Joel Reuter's Top 10 Catchers list (with their wRC+ in parentheses):

1. Adley Rutschman (127 wRC+)

2. Sean Murphy (129)

3. William Contreras (124)

4. Will Smith (119)

5. Cal Raleigh (111)

6. Jonah Heim (103)

7. Gabriel Moreno (103)

8. Willson Contreras (127)

9. J.T. Realmuto (102)

10. Ryan Jeffers (138)

Not Listed: Yainer Diaz and his 127 wRC+.

*You can buy Woody Williams' Newpoint Estates former home for $3.7m

*The Angels hired Ron Washington as their manager, and he's bringing Eric Young, Jr. (who was linked to Houston) with him.

*The Brewers are PISSED at Craig Counsell. And I can understand why.

*Texas Monthly: How the oldest Indian restaurant in Houston prepares for its Diwali rush.


*Rolling Stone: The shocking loss and unbreakable bond behind Sleater-Kinney's new album.

*A Musical Selection: