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Astros Crawfish Boil: February 20, 2018

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Houston Astros news and notes from around the league for Monday, February 20, 2018.

MLB: ALCS-New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Jeff Luhnow spoke with the media, including Brian McTaggart, about the Astros likely being done with major additions at this point.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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:

Tag’s Tweets

Astros News

Baseball’s best bargain, Jose Altuve, knows a big payday will come, hopefully in Houston

Jose Altuve speaks pretty frankly about his contractual future.

Luhnow: ‘I really like the group we have here’

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.

Astros spring training 2018: First full-squad workout

A local news look-in at the Astros’ first full-squad workout of 2018.

Who has the best chance at taking down the Astros?

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)

MLB spring training 2018: Three things on the Astros’ to-do list

TSN takes a look at the Astros heading into Spring Training.

A look at each Astros player’s contract in 2018

Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle takes a look at the contracts of each member of the Astros.

Custom Houston Astros Jeep will make Houston baseball fans drool

It’s an Astros-themed Jeep - definitely fun to look at, at least.

Hungry for more: Correa, tight-knit Astros talking dynasty

Everyone’s favorite “D” word, around these parts at least. An outside perspective as provided by the Seattle Times.

Around The League

Red Sox To Sign J.D. Martinez

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.

MLB announces pace of play initiatives for ‘18

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.

Josh Donaldson Expects To Test Free Agency

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.

Mets Sign Jason Vargas

Bob Nightengale of USA Today has updated some contract information for the Jason Vargas signing by the Mets.

Nationals To Sign Joaquin Benoit

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.

Indians Sign Rajai Davis

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.

Orioles Agree To Terms With Chris Tillman

In somewhat anticlimactic fashion, Chris Tillman is returning to the Orioles on a short, cheap contract.

MLB trade rumors: Orioles’ Manny Machado ‘wants to be a Yankee’

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.

Bryce Harper: ‘I’m focused on this year,’ not free agency

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.

Tim Lincecum reportedly has guaranteed offer

Apparently Tim Lincecum has received at least one guaranteed, Major League offer...and it isn’t from the Giants.

Yo-ga? Cespedes emphasizing flexibility

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.

Spring buzz has Cashman talking ‘another ring’

Surprising no one, the GM of the suddenly-juggernaut Yankees has his eyes on the ultimate prize.

Diamondbacks Sign Jarrod Dyson

Speed plays. Almost always.