It’s your Friday Boil!
The lack of action on the field is about to give way to the Winter Meetings. They’ll get together for four days on Sunday, and end the deal with the rule 5 draft on Wednesday. In between, we’ll get the Hall of Fame Contemporary Era ballot results on Sunday, the release of the All-MLB Team on Monday, and witness the Inaugural Draft Lottery on Tuesday (other teams care about this last one, I think).
What will that mean for the Astros? I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Corey Julks, he’s too valuable to go unclaimed. Other than that, I think Click and his braintrust have plans. With four roster spots open on the 40-man roster, I’ll be surprised if they don’t make at least two picks and possibly more. Who do you think Houston will target?
Astros reportedly in free agency discussions with Willson Contreras (chron.com)
Houston Astros’ Ryan Pressly Joins Team USA for World Baseball Classic (si.com)
One big deal down, now the Astros are eyeing more talent for 2023 team (click2houston.com)
Justin Verlander Rumors: Exec Views Dodgers as Landing Spot If Star Leaves Astros (bleacherreport.com)
Astros look to ride momentum into Winter Meetings (mlb.com)
We’ve got a few more holes. I would say look at the catching, maybe another outfielder. You never have enough pitching. I think those are the spots that are very obvious. - Jim Crane
What 2022-23 MLB free agency so far means for the winter meetings (ESPN.com)
Gaylord Perry, Baseball Hall of Famer and two-time Cy Young winner, dies at 84. (cbssports.com) Read this, too. (sabr.org)
2022 Major League Baseball Rule 5 Draft Preview Version 3.0 (baseballamerica.com)
Rays agree to three-year deal with Eflin (source) (mlb.com)
Three players who deserve Baseball Hall of Fame nods over cheaters (nypost.com)
Strangely, this new ballot seems to be broken up into this angelic trio (Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, & Fred McGriff) plus the less-than-angelic duo of Albert Belle and Curt Schilling and a trio of players strongly linked to steroids — Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro. - Jon Heyman
Don Mattingly takes coaching job with Yankees rival, passes on YES broadcast opportunity (nj.com)
Ex-MLB star Adam LaRoche talks work with military vets after baseball, any regrets from abrupt retirement (foxnews.com)
Oops! All Astros: Dillon Thomas
Dillon Thomas is a six-foot-one, 215 lb. lefty outfielder from Houston, TX. Born on December 10, 1992, he was originally a draftee of the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2011 draft overall out of Westbury Christian School. He’s one of 23 to make the majors after getting drafted 138th overall, and one of two from his school to ever get drafted, both in 2011. Cody Glenn was the other, a pitcher taken in the 15th round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Of players taken 138th, Bill Doran leads with a 32.8 WAR (30.4 with Houston). Remember Bill Doran?
But this is about Thomas, not Doran. Thomas spent a lot of time in the minors after his selection, playing seven seasons in Colorado’s system without getting to the majors. In 2018, he joined the independent Texas AirHogs, and slashed .333/.420/.601 in 80 games. The Milwaukee Brewers took a flyer on him, and he appeared in 131 games for their Double-A Biloxi Shuckers in 2019, slashing .265/.339/.434.
Still having never reached the majors, Thomas sat out 2020 along with most of the baseball world. In 2021, he signed on with the Seattle Mariners, and finally got to the majors, going one-for-nine with seven strikeouts and two RBI in four games.
The 2022 campaign would start for Thomas back at the Triple-A level with the Salt Lake Bees, an Anaheim Angels outfit. He hit .296/.398/.489 in 48 games for them before getting back to the bigs on June 9. Thomas batted sixth and played both corner outfield spots, going 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Fortunately for him, that was not his only major league appearance of the season.
After getting DFA’d and waived just days after his time in the big leagues, the Astros claimed him and assigned him to the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys. He played five games for Sugar Land, going four-for-15 from the plate with a double and a solo home run. He was waived by Houston less than two weeks after getting waived by the Angels, and was reclaimed by Anaheim.
Thomas spent most of the rest of the season back with the Bees, but rejoined Anaheim for a seven-game hitch near the end of July. He went one-for-nine, then went back down to Salt Lake. He was again granted free agency on October 14. Although he’s yet to be signed by another organization, I don’t believe Thomas will ever voluntarily quit. Hopefully, he sticks somewhere through Spring Training. Thanks for reading.