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'Stros Fail To Reach Agreement With White Sox--So Far

Jose De Jesus Ortiz reports that a deal sending Willy Taveras and Taylor Buchholz to the White Sox for righthander Jon Garland has seemingly died on the vine.

Looks like Ortiz broke the story this morning, based on a quote he had from Tal Smith saying a deal was near, that reporters should "stick around the press room."

And then Ken Rosenthal updated midmorning by suggesting that Jason Hirsh may have been added to sweeten the pot.

But now both Ortiz and Newsday's Ken Davidoff are reporting that the team's contingents are leaving the meetings without a deal in place.

Ortiz suggests that negotiations may have broken down because Taylor flunked a physical, which Buchholz himself denies.

The All-Star Garland has won 18 games two years running, and has pitched 200 innings three years in a row. In all years but two of his seven-year career, he has posted an ERA+ at 100 or above. He posted a 3.50 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP during the Pale Hose's magical 2005, but has never before or since been so good. Still, there's little question that he is an above league average pitcher.

I still think that Hirsh can be an ace, but a bird in the hand, right?

The major questions here are whether the Astros would make the trade for Garland AND still sign Andy, and also what Andy's reaction to this news might be.

Given my opinion of Andy's offseason gamesmanship, and the fact that the durable Garland, at only 27 years of age, still has upside, I'd be kind of OK with it if the Garland deal happens, and Pettitte did not pitch for Houston in 2007.

Although certainly you'd have to say that an offseason that nets us both Garland AND Pettitte--in addition to Lee and what now must be seen as the bargain-basement signing of Woody Williams--would be one you can write home to mom about.