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Wednesday Afternoon Astros Hot Stove Links

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What's weird about the past couple of days is there have been a TON of baseball-related stories, but not a whole lot going on. Sure, Kelly Shoppach gets traded for a PTBNL and Billy Wagner signs a one-year deal with the Braves. Other than that? Just a bunch of clubs offering arbitration. Does that mean we won't bring you all these links, though? Not in the least.

Rumors swirled this afternoon that the Astros were in on Brett Myers and J.J. Putz. Brian McTaggart talked with Ed Wade and finds out...nothing? Is there any GM that plays the offseason closer to the vest than Wade? In case you missed it, Wade will be on Astroline tonight at 6 p.m. Send your questions to Alyson Footer on twitter and she'll ask Wade about them tonight.

Richard Justice says the Astros will be just fine with not re-signing any of their free agents. I have nothing of value to say about this other than to check back tomorrow; his opinion will have changed again.

Here is Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors take on the Astros arbitration choices. Very similar to most of the analysis on here, though it could just be that we're all grasping at straws to understand what this front office does.

Here's an interesting article about Michael Bourn. Sure, it's about fantasy baseball but hey, any national pub for the Astros is a good thing, right? I didn't draft Bourn for my team this season, but I did pick him up in April. I don't expect him to be available in April next season.

Craig Calcaterra's take on the news that Dennis Gilbert may be the new owner of the Texas Rangers. Sounds like Gilbert should be an easy choice by the rest of MLB, but the real benefit for the Astros is that Nolan Ryan won't be part of the new ownership group. That means it's unlikely Round Rock becomes a Rangers affiliate after their deal with the Astros expires after 2010.

This is a story about the Yankees managerial hiring process in 2008. Really interesting part about what Cashman asked the managers to do re: the lineups. I wonder if Wade and Tal Smith did something similar...

So, let me get this straight...the Twins, a small market team if there every was one, offered Carl Pavano arbitration even though he had a 5.00 ERA last season? But the Astros couldn't afford to offer Hawkins or Tejada?

Is this the natural progression after amphetamines were banned? Because I'm sure none of those players share their medication with the other guys in the locker room...I know college kids will buy stuff like Adderol to study for exams, so we're sure the MLB players are following the straight and true path with this? I'm just sayin'...

Finally, Project Prospect's Top 15 Catchers...nice to see Castro so highly placed and it's interesting that he's the top rated catcher who's also solid defensively. I can live with line drive power if he hits for average and is great behind the plate.