Winter Meetings end quietly for Astros

The Baseball Winter Meetings came to a close this morning. For Astros fans, it was a bit anticlimactic. Fans hoping to see the Astros add another player through Free Agency the Rule 5 Draft were left wanting.

The Astros had the first overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft and were expected to add a bullpen arm. But, as part of Wednesday’s trade with the San Diego Padres that brought Anthony Bass to the organization, the Astros sent their pick to the Padres. Houston selected Patrick Schuster out of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization and immediately shipped the lefty to San Diego. The Padres and Astros both passed on subsequent picks and the deal was complete.

Anthony Bass (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

But the Rule 5 Draft wasn’t a complete disaster for the Astros. In fact, there was actually some good news. Houston didn’t lose any prospects. Unprotected players like Jake Buchanan and Carlos Perez, who looked like attractive pieces for other teams, went undrafted and will stay in the organization. Also, acquiring Bass in lieu of a Rule 5 pick gives the Astros more flexibility. Unlike any player selected in the Rule 5 Draft, Bass still has minor league options available this season.

In addition, the Astros picked up a total of three players in the minor league portion of the draft. Ravel Santana, a toolsy outfielder from the Yankees organization, was selected in the AAA phase. Lefty reliever Carlos Vazquez and knuckleballer Blaine Sims were also added.

On the Free Agent front, the Astros were rumored to be in serious negotiations with Mike Morse. The slugging OF/1B was coming off a down year, meaning his price tag could be within the Astros budget. Morse had a couple of big years in Washington while Bo Porter was on the Nationals’ coaching staff. Porter was rumored to be pushing hard for the Astros to acquire Morse who, by all accounts, was a tremendous presence in the Nats clubhouse.

News broke this morning that Morse had signed a 1-year, $6 million deal with the San Francisco Giants. So the Astros leave Orlando with two spots open on the 40-man roster. The club is still looking to add another bat, another bullpen arm, and possibly a starting pitcher.

Michael Morse (Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports)

Topics: Anthony Bass, Houston Astros, Rule 5 Draft

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  • Larry Luttrell

    Ray, Want u think about what th Astros, u think they can find another starter & and another power hitter plus a closer. Are u think they can keep what they have. I am thinking another power hitter & another starter. How about getting a power hitter like a Delmon Young, another starter like maybe Johan Santana. what u think.

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      Its all god, Larry, I’ll weigh in as well. I think the starter they are looking for/will find is more of the back end of the rotation. Maybe a flier, like a Santana type.

      Yes another OF/1B, at least one, if not two. I have been hearing slight rumblings/rumors still about Choo. I like him as a player and what he adds to the lineup, just not the likely years attached.

      • Larry Luttrell

        Yea, I have to agree with u on the Choo. That is too much for a seven years deal. I saw that the Texas Rangers offer him a 7 year & I just don’t think he is worth that much. Choo would be crazy to get a contract for that many years. Look at Josh Hamilton what he do (Nothing) & look at Albert Pujols what has done (Nothing) so if I was Choo I rather go for a 4 year plus a 5 as a option.

        • astrosince1975

          Thanks for reading, Larry. I think the Choo to Houston rumors are bogus. There is no way the Astros wouldeven think about spending that much money on a long term deal right now.

          It is nice to see them finally making some additions, and I agree that any more new players that are added will be on short term deals. I think they will definitely add another reliever (maybe Jose Veras) and possibly another bat. As for starting pitchers — maybe they sign a couple guys to minor league deals.

  • Larry Luttrell

    I mean Greg, not Ray.

  • sdtitan

    Garrett Jones is still out there. Why aren’t the Astros kicking his tires?

    • Ray_Kuhn_28

      He actually signed with the Marlins on the 10th. But yes, he would have been a good option in my opinion