Former Cubs closer Hector Rondon has signed with the defending World Series champion Astros.
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The Yankees had four players taken in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, while the O's picked three. The Tigers picked D-backs outfielder Victor Reyes No. 1; LHP/OF Anthony Gose was picked by the Astros, from the Rangers system; and the Royals made two trades.
ESPN Stats and Information
Newest Astros reliever Joe Smith struck out 11.8 batters per 9 innings last season, by far the highest rate of his career (previous: 9.1 with the 2007 Mets). The postseason showed the Astros needed help for a bullpen that ranked 17th in ERA during the regular season.
Right-handed reliever Joe Smith has agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the World Series-champion Astros.
William Weinbaum ESPN
The baseball writers' choices for the Hall of Fame are due 12/31 & the results announcement is 1/24, but the people's choices re: Barry Bonds & Roger Clemens are in, according to a Seton Hall Sports Poll, released Tue. & 49% said no to the duo, 35% yes & 16% didn't know or had no opinion. 62% said they agree with HoFer Joe Morgan that players with a history of PEDs use don't belong in the HoF & 26% disagreed.
Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer
It was an uneventful press conference for Astros manager A.J.Hinch, as you'd expect for the skipper of a title team returning its young core in its entirety. Team is looking for pitching of course, but beyond that he says Houston will likely allocate its DH at-bats between Evan Gattis and a rotation based on who needs rest. Playing time at that position was freed up by the retirement of Carlos Beltran.
Buster Olney talks to Jake Kaplan of The Houston Chronicle about Dallas Keuchel's health concerns, the team's ability to re-sign its young core in the coming years and more.
After being dumped by the Astros, he remade his swing and is now set to make nine figures on this winter's free-agent market.
Gene Dias of the World Series champion Houston Astros has won the Robert O. Fishel Award for public relations excellence in the major leagues.
Jerry Crasnick ESPN Senior Writer
There was an interesting off-field development in Houston recently when pitcher Dallas Keuchel and super utilityman Marwin Gonzalez both switched their representation to Scott Boras. Keuchel and Gonzalez join Jose Altuve and Lance McCullers Jr. as Astros players in the Boras stable. They're both eligible for free agency next winter, and they won't be giving the Astros any hometown discounts.
Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, who was seen in a walking boot Saturday, pitched the end of last season with a foot injury, sources told ESPN.
Sports Illustrated named Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Astros second baseman Jose Altuve its co-Sportspersons of the Year.
The Astros reportedly could non-tender trade Evan Gattis or look to trade him by Friday's deadline.
World Series MVP George Springer talks to Buster Olney about his memories from the Fall Classic, what he's been up to since, and when he'll put it in the rear view mirror.
Having three teams with triple-digit W's is rare, but MLB's power trio is just a few offseason tweaks from reaching the century mark again.
The Astros have the option to either spend on a high-dollar guy or wait to see what pops up in the in-season trade market. Either way, Houston is the early favorite to repeat as World Series champion.
Manager A.J. Hinch didn't trust the majority of his bullpen in the postseason, so the Astros should bid for the top relief arm of this free-agent class.
The Houston Astros will unveil their World Series championship banner at home against the Baltimore Orioles on April 2. The Astros will open 2018 on the road against the Texas Rangers on March 29.
Astros select two players, acquire Bailey from A's
The Houston Astros selected LHP Cionel Perez and RHP Dean Deetz to their 40-man roster on Monday. In addition, OF Ramon Laureano was traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for RHP Brandon Bailey.
David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer
As teams maneuver today to add players to their 40-man rosters, one name jumps out: the Phillies designated Mark Appel for assignment. The Astros famously selected Appel first overall in 2013, one spot ahead of Kris Bryant. Traded to the Phillies in the Ken Giles deal, he had a 5.60 ERA at Triple-A and spent time on the DL with a shoulder issue. His minor league track record has been abysmal and he looks like he'll be one of those great "What went wrong?" players of history. Let's hope the right organization can find a way to fix him.
The Astros have bigger priorities than trying to land Stanton. However, with an opening in the lineup following Carlos Beltran's retirement, it sure is tempting.