With the Winter Meetings a few days away Jeff Luhnow spoke to Brian Smith about what to expect while giving updates concerning J.D. Martinez and Wilton Lopez. The Astros have, out of nowhere, become somewhat of the center of attention over the last 30 hours with the rumors of Wilton Lopez being shipped to Philly and, of course, the itch the develops with a sudden bite of movement in what has been a pretty boring few months. Fans should actually gear up because come Monday, the Astros should be active in trades, Rule 5 and even a Free Agent or two might call Houston home.
First things first, Wilton Lopez is still an Astro and will probably still be one until at least Monday. After Monday, all bets are off but from Luhnow’s comments it certainly appears that the national media along with some from the Philadelphia area might have jumped the gun. Although, quite a bit of speculation exists that the deal was done until Wilton’s elbow got in the way. We may never truly know what would have come back, if indeed the deal was that close, but a healthy Lopez has serious value because of his production and club control. Honestly I’d be surprised to see Lopez an Astros past the Winter Meetings as seeds have certainly been planted.
Besides the hot topic of the last couple days, plenty of other items to touch on like the Big Puma’s return to Houston. Nothing new on that except that the ‘Stros are interested and want to chat with Lance Berkman. I still say it makes for a nice story but a long shot to happen with contenders swarming like Sharks near a bikini clad filled beach. J.D. Martinez re-aggravated his hand injury but should be alright come Spring Training. He really needs to be healthy because competition for his spot should be hot and heavy. While names weren’t given out to consider, looks like the ‘Stros will add at least one rule 5 player next week and with this year’s crop having some interesting names, fans should keep a close eye. Finally, Luhnow reminded everyone that the kids will play and play a lot this season so don’t count on a ton of acquisitions this winter but he did emphasize a DH was still a glaring need. I’d also safely assume another pitcher will be added to the rotation, possibly a strong #3 or someone with that potential.
Overall, it was some nice info and certainly something to keep interest going. I’m sure the Lopez tease was just enough to wet everyone’s appetite before the Turkey and side dishes are ready next week.