Some things to talk about while the Houston Chronicle goes behind a paywall...
1) Dickey's trade may set Norris market
Now that R.A. Dickey is officially in Toronto...well, sort of. If he works out a contract. At any rate, now that his situation is close to being resolved, it should open up the trade market for Bud Norris a bit.
You have to figure that teams who lost out on both Dickey, Sanchez and Greinke may now be looking for other pitching options. Norris is young and has some team control left. The Royals are out after acquiring Wade Davis and James Shields, so I wonder what Norris' market looks like.
Of course, we have this mysterious 2 p.m. press conference with Jeff Luhnow where he'll announce something. What will that be? Lance Berkman signing? Norris trade? Who knows?
2) Kendrys Morales, anyone?
When the Angels signed Joshy Hamilton, it immediately made someone in their lineup expendable. Most people are pointing towards Peter Bourjos or Mike Trumbo, who could be nice additions to the Astros but would be very expensive.
The third name is more of a DH/first base option, and he's coming off a serious injury a few years ago, but hit pretty well last season. The problem is Kendrys Morales only has one year of team control left after this season. So, whatever Houston would give up in trade has to reflect that.
But, wouldn't Morales make a nice impact in the middle of this lineup? His walk rate has never been fantastic, and is basically average or below average, but his strikeout rate has proven it may be sustainable at around 15 percent instead of the 22 percent it was at last season.
What gets a deal done with the Angels? Do they take Jimmy Paredes for Morales? Would Houston flip a Lucas Harrell for a year of Morales? I'm betting no. So, does it make sense to go after a player like Morales?
3) Name those Astros!
As I was perusing this list of minor league transactions, thanks to Farmstros tipping us off to the Astros trading for minor league reliever Ricky Martinez, I noticed a good number of former Astros major and minor leaguers on the list. By my count, there are six of them.
So, I thought it'd be a fun, diverting Monday game to see who could spot the most. Put your answers in the comments.