Some things to talk about while we question whether "high heat" is a thing...
News is still trickling out of major league front offices, even on Super Bowl Sunday. That's how we learned that the Astros had interest in Daisuke Matsuzaka, before Brian T. Smith went and rained all over that terrible, terrible parade. Seriously, I'm glad Houston isn't bringing in Dice-K to take up spots, because the upside isn't there any more. Erik Bedard has at least pitched well recently and could be a solid contributor. Dice-K would be Triple-A fluff blocking your Wojo's of the world from advancing.
Meanwhile, the Mets allegedly signed Brandon Lyon to a deal, but we don't know contract terms or whether this is a minor league deal. The Mets had been sniffing around various relievers for the last month, if internet rumors can be trusted (they totally can, you guys!).
Nothing else of note yet, though that might pick up this week as spring training nears.
2) Astros close to radio team?
Thanks to Sean's Twitter feed for bringing up the rumor that Kansas City broadcaster Robert Ford is likely to be hired to do play-by-play for the Astros radio next season. Ford has been working as a pre- and post-game reporter for the Royals broadcasts while also doing PBP for basketball games and assorted and sundry other things in the offseason.
That rumor hasn't been substantiated yet, but David Barron indicated that the radio team is getting close, with Steve Sparks assumed to be part of it (as the color man, I'd say). Barron had updates on the TV side too:
There’s also nothing new to report on the Astros radio or TV broadcast fronts. Alan Ashby has said he’s coming to do TV alongside Bill Brown, and Geoff Blum and Steve Sparks are believed to be on board for TV and radio, respectively. Wayne Hagin has been mentioned as the front-runner for the radio play-by-play job, but the name of Robert Ford, who does pre- and postgame work for the Royals radio network in Kansas City, has emerged as a potential candidate in the radio mix as well.
Any thoughts here? Don't they need to get these positions locked down sometime soon? May we see an announcement this week?
3) Minor League Ball profiles JaCoby Jones
Remember back in 2010, when the Astros drafted an Alabama high school shortstop with the same name as the mercurial receiver on the Texans? At the time, the reports were that Houston offered Jones a million to sign away from LSU, but he turned them down and went to school instead.
Three years later, Jones hasn't improved his draft stock all that much. He had a great freshman season, but slumped badly in his sophomore year and enters the 2013 season as a third-round guy with tools but not much else.
Reading through Matt Garrioch's profile on him, I wonder if he's a guy the new front office would take a chance on. They seem more interested in drafting college guys who have tangible results to go along with good tools, rather than taking a chance on excellent tools that have produced average results.
Would you mind seeing Jones drafted by the Astros after their first two picks this season? Any LSU fans want to weigh in on what he's looked like lately?