Wrapping up the first day of full-squad workouts for the World Champion Astros and, as one might expect, there’s quite a lot to unpack.
First, though, a reader suggested on yesterday’s Crawfish Boil that we simply link to Brian McTaggart’s twitter feed, so we figured...why not? Here are some choice goodies from Tags over the last 24 hours. We’ll be calling this little mini-segment “Tag’s Tweets” and plan to feature it regularly, especially during Spring Training...hope you enjoy it. Go follow Tags on Twitter, if you don’t already, by clicking this blue button:
Astros owner Jim Crane addresses media prior to first full-squad workout. pic.twitter.com/jp5PG7HUWP— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Who Watch to see Kyle Tucker versus Justin Verlander in live BP? pic.twitter.com/Mz81y95mIx— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Astros' first-team infield finishes up a drill pic.twitter.com/JCU2oL8TaZ— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Strom works with Gose pic.twitter.com/gLmBPjBMbk— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow on the additions the team has made and the message he delivered to the club this morning. pic.twitter.com/hMFaCjdteC— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Altuve: "We really want to do it again." And much more from the 2017 AL MVP. pic.twitter.com/7WvqpXWRuB— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Bregman said he changed his diet this winter: more salmon and fish, less burgers and pizza. "Dad bods are in but I don't know how many homers they got." pic.twitter.com/JUIkk5z3Zy— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Luhnow said the Astros considered calling up Forrest Whitley last September.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 19, 2018
Jose Altuve speaks pretty frankly about his contractual future.
Jeff Luhnow features prominently in McTaggart’s daily Astros Notebook discussing the fact that the Astros are almost definitely done making notable additions for the 2018 season.
A local news look-in at the Astros’ first full-squad workout of 2018.
A look from TCB favorite Dan Szymborski at the Astros’ chances to repeat, and who is their biggest obstacle coming into the season. (ESPN Paywall Article, Subscription Required)
TSN takes a look at the Astros heading into Spring Training.
Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle takes a look at the contracts of each member of the Astros.
It’s an Astros-themed Jeep - definitely fun to look at, at least.
Everyone’s favorite “D” word, around these parts at least. An outside perspective as provided by the Seattle Times.
Around The League
The slugging graduate of the Astros farm system has a new home, and the streets there are lined with cobblestones and bathed in Yankee animus. This contract represents a noteworthy black eye for famed Super Agent Scott Boras, though he would almost certainly deflect publicly and call it a success, given that his client is now employed for the next several seasons.
No pitch clock yet, but the number of mound visits will be limited to six (with some caveats and provisos). This and other aspects of the Commissioner’s decision are outlined in this piece by MLB.com’s David Adler.
When it comes to evaluating the state of free agency as an institution, the case of Josh Donaldson (and Dallas Keuchel, for that matter) should be much more telling than cases like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. That is, assuming that Donaldson tests free agency instead of re-signing...which does now appear likely.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has updated some contract information for the Jason Vargas signing by the Mets.
MLBTR’s Steve Adams reporting (crediting Jerry Crasnick) on the Washington Nationals signing veteran right-handed pitcher Joaquin Benoit to a one year, $1 million contract.
The Indians have re-signed the supplier of one of the most memorable postseason moments in franchise history, Rajai Davis, whose World Series Game 7 home run in 2016 provided incredible drama in what was arguably the best modern World Series until 2017 happened.
In somewhat anticlimactic fashion, Chris Tillman is returning to the Orioles on a short, cheap contract.
Can’t imagine any self-serving reasons that a website called nj.com (for New Jersey, if you’re unsure) would have for promoting the idea that Manny Machado wants to be in Pinstripes...but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, necessarily. Take it as you will - the sentiment exists.
Harper wants to see Nationals fulfill postseason promise in 2018. Notably, Harper was also quoted as being genuinely surprised that Jake Arrieta hasn’t been signed yet, which might not be terribly revelatory - many people share his surprise - but still seems an interesting conversation point, regardless.
Apparently Tim Lincecum has received at least one guaranteed, Major League offer...and it isn’t from the Giants.
Yoenis Cespedes is apparently trying to avoid the downward (...dog?) trend of the aging curve by joining many players who have come before him in engaging in Yoga to increase and promote his own flexibility in an effort to avoid injury as he ages.
Surprising no one, the GM of the suddenly-juggernaut Yankees has his eyes on the ultimate prize.
Speed plays. Almost always.