*Dana Brown is "not entertaining" trading Alex Bregman. Check out this Chandler Rome article, where he's as incredulous as I am that Dana Brown and Jim Crane haven't discussed a budget yet.
*The Astros will get a 4th option year on Forrest Whitley, who will apparently report to Spring Training as a reliever, because Dana Brown is "not interested in overpaying for a reliever."
That's smart. Because some idiot gave Rafael Montero a 3yr/$34.5m contract a year ago and set the market way too high. As soon as we find the guy that did that we ought to whoop his ass.
So it's interesting to note that the Astros are allegedly interested in free agent Cy-Creek guy Jordan Hicks. And have talked to Hector Neris about re-upping.
*Dana Brown says things aren't to the "exchanging medical information" stage yet but things are "heating up."
*Joe Espada wouldn't name an everyday CF yet, saying that Jake Meyers and Chas McCormick will play in Spring Training. Mauricio Dubon will play everywhere.
It's a tough one. On one hand you have Jake Meyers, proud owner of a career 88 wRC+ (albeit with a 7.8 DEF rating). On the other you have Chas McCormick, fresh off a 133 wRC+ and a slightly worse 3.2 DEF rating. That 133 wRC+ is 3rd among CFs with at least 300PAs, behind Cody Bellinger and Mike Trout's 134 wRC+. McCormick was 8th among CFs with at least 300PAs in fWAR, at 3.8 - better than Brandon Marsh. But you know, lotta winter left before you make a decision.
Okay. I guess I should have made this more clear. Yes, Chas can play LF and Jake can play CF. That's in play.
*Joe Espada has talked to Yainer Diaz "once a week" since Espada took the reins. On the backup side, the Astros have allegedly been in contact with catcher Tucker Barnhart, giving Real Gs the opportunity to have a fantasy team named "Kyle Tucker Barnhart."
*Speaking of backup catchers, the Angels, White Sox, Padres, and Marlins are interested in the services of Martin Maldonado.
*A few days ago the Astros signed reliever Kervin Castro to a minor-league deal. He's not in the mix for 2024 as he's recovering from Tommy John Surgery.
*You can get tickets to the Astros Foundation College Classic, featuring ut, UH, Texas State, Vanderbilt, LSU, and the University of Louisiana - March 1-3, 2024.
*A.J. Hinch signed a long-term extension with the Tigers.
*Toronto has apparently met with Shohei Ohtani. But maybe not.
*The Athletic: Quincy Promes, and how Amsterdam's criminal underworld preys on [soccer players].
*Esquire: La Cote Basque, 1965.
*Outside: Running the Nakasendo, an ancient postal route across the Japanese Alps.
*The Texans haven't won seven of their first 12 games since 2019, when they started out 8-4.
A Musical Selection
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