The Astros are involved in plenty of rumors with Spring Training approaching
Spring training will be here before we know it. It's almost time for rosters to finalize and with that being the case, plenty of rumors are floating about the Astros as they get ready to begin the road to a repeat.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has plenty of reports on Houston. First, a reunion with Yuli Gurriel may be in the cards after all. It appeared Gurriel to the Marlins was a certainty, but as we shared previously, Jon Heyman reported those talks had cooled off. In Nightengale's latest piece, he reports that the Marlins poulled out because of Gurriel's desired price tag.
It appears now that the race for Gurriel is down to two: Houston and the Minnesota Twins. Astros fans have been quite vocal about their desire for Gurriel to return, and they may in fact get their wish after all.
Nightengale also reported on Twitter that the runner-up for the Astros GM job was former catcher, Brad Ausmus. Ausmus has spent time as a special assistant and manager since his playing career came to an end, but hasn't experienced a great deal of success in either role. Former Astro with Bagwell connections or not, Astros fans should be thankful that Dana Brown was the hire rather than Ausmus.
Ken Rosenthal recently reported (subscription required) that the Astros are among a bevvy of teams with an interest in a left-handed reliever. Rosenthal pointed out that the deal the Phillies gave to Matt Strahm (two years, $15 million) greatly impacted the market for left-handers. Nightengale pointed out in his column that Andrew Chafin, Zack Britton and Matt Moore all remain on the market and are likely seeking $9 million per year. This is likely a result of the Strahm deal.
The Astros bullpen is already a great strength without a lefty, but it wouldn't hurt to have one if they are a great option. Houston doesn't need a lefty just for the sake of employing one, but a dominant arm like Chafin would be a luxury in the bullpen.