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Houston Astros News: December 23, 2016

Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Friday, December 23, 2016.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros News

Astros hire Todd Kalas as new play-by-play announcer - Houston Chronicle
Todd Kalas, who was born in Houston as his father, the late Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas, was beginning his storied big league broadcasting career with the Astros in the mid-1960s, will return to his birthplace as the Astros' new play-by-play announcer on Root Sport Southwest.

Todd Kalas, Geoff Blum lead Astros' TV booth |
Respected and experienced broadcaster Todd Kalas will spearhead the Astros' new broadcast team for ROOT Sports Southwest in 2017, replacing longtime play-by-play voice Bill Brown. The team announced Thursday that Kalas, a Houston native, will be joined by color analyst Geoff Blum. Blum, the former Astros infielder, steps into a full-time analyst role after spending the last four years as the club's primary analyst for road games.

Astros' George Springer still weighing decision on World Baseball Classic - Houston Chronicle
Astros outfielder George Springer has yet to commit to playing in the World Baseball Classic but said a decision on whether he will participate - and, if so, which country he will represent - is coming soon.

MLB News

Edwin Encarnacion signs 3-year deal with Indians, per reports -
Edwin Encarnacion, second in the major leagues in home runs from 2012-2016, signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians.

Jurickson Profar is the strangest trade chip in recent baseball history -
Jurickson Profar was the best prospect in baseball, and he still has a shot at stardom. For whom, though?

Pirates re-sign Ivan Nova to 3-year, $26 million contract - MLB Daily Dish
The righty returns to Pittsburgh, where he spent the final two months of last season.