CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 30: J.D. Martinez #14 of the Houston Astros is greeted by teammate Jed Lowrie #4 after scoring in the third inning during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 30, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
A late, late look at the news in the day. Consider this a hangover from the Carlos Lee Decision Weekend...
1) International signings rolling in - Houston waded into the international signing deadline, already making one signing in Kristian Trompiz, a shortstop who signed for $300,000.
It doesn't appear they'll make a splash with many of the upper-tier guys, as 10 of the top 20 prospects on Baseball America list have already signed. That includes the Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5 rated prospects on the board. The only Top 5 guy left unsigned is right-handed pitcher Jose Mujica from Venezuela. EDIT: Mujica signed with the Rays. So, top five are all taken...
Houston should still have $2.6 million left to spend, but it's unclear whether they will be in on any of the top guys or spend up to that amount. I know there's been some discussion on this already, but who are the guys you're looking at as possible additions now? Anyone interesting who may not be on the national radar?
2) Sickel's Top 120 list - So, Jonathan Singleton, who has really been doing well at Double-A this season, didn't move up or down a whole bunch on John Sickel's new Top 120 prospect list. He's the highest-rated Astros prospect, but he was jumped by 15 different prospects moving ahead of him. That included the new No. 9 prospect, Oscar Taveras, who is having a very good season in Double-A as a 20-year old.
George Springer and Jarred Cosart also made the list, but DDJ and Nick Tropeano are listed as honorable mentions. So, if we were making a Top 5 prospect list from this by John Sickel's standards, Houston's would look like this:
It's safe to say none of our Top 5's looked like this.
What's interesting to me is what Houston will do with Brian Bixler. The versatile infielder hasn't exactly lit things up, but he's shown some power and can play in both the infield and outfield. Is he superfluous with Matt Downs also on the roster?
Assuming Scott Moore is headed down as one of those moves, who gets sent down with him? Smart money is on Bixler, right?
I think the CJ injury will cinch it. Yes, Marwin can play third, but with Downs playing there more frequently, I'd imagine he'll stay up as long as CJ is hurting.