Some things to talk about while Rosenblatt Stadium gets resurrected...
1) Jim DeShaies speaks about Astros, Cubs opportunity
One of the hardest losses of the offseason may have had nothing to do with the team on the field. For many Astros fans, the biggest blow was seeing broadcaster and longtime Astro Jim DeShaies take a job with the Cubs on WGN.
When Houston returned to Chicago last weekend, the Chronicle's Brian T. Smith caught up to JD to talk about the move and his new job. It was a good, short interview with him, but this part showed that JD's decision may not have been just about increasing his national profile.
"It’s not easy to leave Houston, either, which is also a great baseball town," he said. "It was not an easy decision. Having said that, boy, it was rough the way that all went down over there. A lot of good friends lost jobs.
"One way or the other, I wish it would’ve been a little bit different and had worked out differently for a lot of people. But I think they’re headed in the right direction now."
Is it going out on a limb to say that JD may not have wanted to leave Houston in the first place? I'd love to know what actually went down last offseason, but we may never get that information. Alienating longtime broadcasters like this can't have helped George Postolos' reputation in the front office, and I wonder if JD leaving was one of the reasons why Postolos is no longer with the team.
What was it like for those of you who listened to JD this weekend? Was it nice to hear him or did it just make you sad he's not with the Astros anymore?
2) Trade rumors
Lots of recent trade talk, as the July deadline nears. Over at MLB Trade Rumors, there have been a host of updates, including this one on Bud Norris and Ricky Nolasco:
Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco could be the first pitcher dealt as we near the deadline, even ahead of Bud Norris. Cafardo says not to be shocked if teams like the Orioles or Giants make a move on him sooner rather than later.
Nolasco doesn't have the team control of Norris, but if teams can move on him sooner and work with a team like the Marlins (who don't have Luhnow running the show), you could see how that might be a more attractive option. There's also been some talk that the Diamondbacks are interested in acquiring Nolasco, so we can add them to the Giants and Orioles as teams looking for pitching help.
Sounds like the Red Sox are also looking for relief help, so they might end up being a match for Jose Veras, if they pass on the Marlins' Steve Cishek.
3) Carlos Correa gets attention
Ben Badler over at Baseball America weighed in on Carlos Correa, the 2012 No. 1 overall pick who has been overshadowed this season by Byron Buxton. Here's what Badler had to say:
The over-the-fence power isn’t showing up much in games yet, but Correa is still 18, and with his size, strength potential and swing path, the power will be there, giving him monster offensive potential at a premium position.
That's pretty encouraging, especially given that Correa has been very, very good with the bat to this point. In fact, the only thing missing in his game is power, and he's shown the potential for that down the road. Very good signs for the Astros. In fact, I don't even care if Buxton is the No. 1 prospect in baseball next year. Correa will be top 25 and plays a more premium position.