Some things to talk about while I figure out what Colossus' WAR might be...
1) Abreu close to deal...with White Sox
Things got crazy in the hours after we posted that story on Jose Dariel Abreu. Like Buster Olney tweeting that the Astros were in the top three of the bidding for Abreu. And that the bidding would finish up in the next two weeks.
But, then the bids started popping out on Twitter, with the Astros falling into a distant second place.
Source say Astros are skeptical about their chances of signing Jose Abreu. Made a strong offer but all but certain they fell short. W. Sox?— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 17, 2013
Then we find out that the Astros did indeed make a hard offer for a substantial amount of money.
The Astros did, in fact, make a hard bid on Abreu while falling short: Heard their bid was between $50 million and $60 million.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 17, 2013
Finally, that two week business accelerated in a hurry, when Ken Rosenthal reported that Abreu's deal is all but finalized, though the team was not confirmed just yet.
Jose Abreu finalizing terms on six-year, $68M deal. Club expected to be #WhiteSox. Deal will be largest first-time contract for int’l player— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 18, 2013
It was fun while it lasted, I guess. Did it have to be the White Sox that outbid the Astros though? The White Sox are the worst.
2) I know who's gonna be the next Astro
Huh. So the Dodgers claim Mike Baxter off waivers and make room for him by designating outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment. Castellanos came over to the Dodgers in the Rafael Furcal trade with the Cardinals.
Castellanos was drafted by the Cards and debuted in 2008 with the team. He's also hit pretty well in the minors, showing power and some on-base percentage. He's also played some right field, making him a perfect fit for the Astros.
Why would Houston consider him? You know who was minor league guru back then in St. Louis? Neither do I, but I'm sure it's important.
Meanwhile, the Astros make their own curious move on Thursday. No, that can't be right. Remember this?
My 2014 opening day lineup. Villar 6 Crowe 9 Altuve 4 Castro 2 Dominguez 5 Carter 3 Wallace DH Springer 8 Grossman 7 Lyles 1. What's yours?— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) September 10, 2013
The #Astros have officially outrighted OF Trevor Crowe and RHP Jorge De Leon off the club's 40-man roster, which now stands at 36.— Houston Astros (@astros) October 17, 2013
Huh. Maybe what he meant was that Crowe would clear a roster spot for the actual starting right fielder.
3) Nolan Ryan retires
Thursday was a busy day for baseball news, outside of, you know, that ALCS game. Seems that the Alvin Express has decided to retire/resign from the Texas Rangers. His partners have bought out his ownership shares, meaning Ryan will be free to join any team he wants if, you know, retirement doesn't sit well with him.
"To me, Nolan Ryan's it," Crane said. "He's one of the best pitchers ever. He's from our neighborhood. He grew up here. He's probably the biggest name in baseball in Texas. He means a lot.
"Certainly he's always welcome as a family member of Reid's. I like Nolan, but I haven't talked to him about anything. There's been no discussion whatsoever."
To his credit, Nolan didn't play the semantics game, saying that resign and retire meant the same thing for him. He also said he plans to go back to the farm and spend some time with the grand kids. No word on how he'll deal with all the snow monkeys.