Houston Astros Wiretap

Five MLB Players Enter Into Brand Contracts With Fantex

Apr 28, 2016 8:29 AM

Fantex, Inc. announced on Wednesday that it has entered into brand contracts with five Major League players.

The players are Maikel Franco, Collin McHugh, Jonathan Schoop, Tyler Duffey and Yangervis Solarte.

Fantex offers professional athletes an up-front, one-time payment in exchange for a portion of that player's future earnings both on and off the field. Fantex then sells "shares" of that player to public investors for a set price.

Andrew Heaney became the first player to enter into an agreement with Fantex last September, taking a $3.34 million up-front payment in exchange for 10 percent of his future earnings.

BusinessWire

Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Legal

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Astros Sign Cuban Infielder Anibal Sierra

Apr 7, 2016 4:39 PM

The Houston Astros have signed Cuban infielder Anibal Sierra to a Minor League contract valued at $3.5 million, according to sources.

The contract will be made official after July 2, so the Astros will be able to include the deal in their budget for next year.

The total fee for Sierra will be about $7 million, including fees associated with international signing limits, sources said.

A shortstop and second baseman, Sierra played parts of three seasons with Santiago in the Cuban National Series, hitting a combined .238 in 91 games before leaving the country for the Dominican Republic eight months ago.

ESPN

Tags: Houston Astros, Free Agent Rumor, Signing

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Luke Gregerson To Close For Astros

Apr 4, 2016 1:31 PM

Luke Gregerson will begin the season closing games for the Houston Astros, A.J. Hinch has confirmed.

Gregerson was given the role over Ken Giles, who the Astros acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason.

Gregerson, 31, had a career-high 31 saves in 36 chances and a 3.10 ERA as Houston's closer last season.

"He's got a slow heartbeat. He's got a real feel for how to pitch," Hinch said. "His calmness in the intense moments are critical in giving the guy the ball the last part of the game."

ESPN

Tags: Houston Astros

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Astros-Yankees Opener Postponed Until Tuesday

Apr 4, 2016 9:57 AM

Monday afternoon's season opener between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium has been postponed because of a forecast for bad weather.

It was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Dallas Keuchel is scheduled to start for Houston against Masahiro Tanaka in a rematch of last year's American League wild-card game, won by the Astros 3-0.

Associated Press

Tags: New York Yankees, Houston Astros

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Padres Acquire Dan Straily From Astros For Erik Kratz

Mar 29, 2016 7:51 AM

The San Diego Padres have acquired Dan Straily from the Houston Astros in exchange for Erik Kratz.

Houston had been searching for another catcher after losing presumed reserve Max Stassi to injury.

Straily, 27, is out of options and did not appear in line for a rotation job with the Astros.

Jeff Todd/MLB Trade Rumors

Tags: Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Ken Giles Surprised By Magnitude Of Trade To Astros

Mar 24, 2016 3:44 PM

The Houston Astros raised some eyebrows when they traded five players to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ken Giles and 17-year-old infield prospect this winter.

One of the players sent to Philadelphia was Mark Appel, who they once took with the first overall pick in 2013.

"I didn't feel like I was all that valuable," Giles admitted. "I thought I might be like a 2-for-1, two-high-prospects kind of guy. So I feel honored that I was viewed as that valuable to a team."

Only three Major League relievers have had a sub-2.00 ERA and 10-plus strikeouts per nine innings over their first two seasons: Giles, Takashi Saito and Rob Dibble.

Before landing Giles, the Astros were in on Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Miller, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger.

"I think that's true on a couple of different levels," A.J. Hinch said when asked if the game has changed. "One is, the value of the last nine outs -- not just the closer but the last nine outs -- has grown across the game. And some of it has to do with the way the Royals have won championships, the way the Giants have won championships. The intensity of those last nine outs has become more valuable.

"And the other idea that I have is, I think it's hard to measure, analytically or emotionally, what a blown opportunity to win a game means. It's not just about one game, as a lot of measures would tell you. Back when the closer role was less valuable in the eyes of some around the game, it was because they were focused on the value of just one loss. In actuality, when you're on a team and you blow leads, the carryover effect can last far longer than just one game."

Jayson Stark/ESPN

Tags: Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Trade Rumor

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Astros Looking For Catching Help

Mar 21, 2016 8:17 AM

The Houston Astros are looking for a catcher outside the organization in the wake of an injury to reserve Max Stassi.

Stassi will be sidelined for six weeks after hamate bone surgery.

Evan Gattis may have been an option behind the plate, but his hernia surgery, which could keep him out of all exhibition action, will prevent that.

The Astros have scouted Bryan Holaday of the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays' A.J. Jimenez.

Brian McTaggart/MLB

Tags: Houston Astros, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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McCullers: ' MRI Came Back 100 Percent Clean'

Mar 12, 2016 1:31 PM

Astros pitcher Lance McCullers said a recent MRI showed no significant injury to his sore right shoulder but acknowledged there is no timetable for his return to the mound.

McCullers spoke with reporters Saturday, one day after undergoing the MRI. The hard-throwing right-hander said he still has soreness in his pitching shoulder and that he will approach his recovery on a day-by-day basis.

"The MRI came back 100 percent clean," McCullers said. "I'm fine."

ESPN.com

Tags: Houston Astros, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Astros In No Rush To Name Starting First Baseman

Mar 11, 2016 7:16 AM

The Houston Astros are in no rush to decide on a starting first baseman and will wait until the conclusion of the exhibition season, according to Jeff Luhnow.

Houston has candidates in Jon Singleton, Tyler White, Matt Duffy, Colin Moran and A.J. Reed.

"We're going to see all these guys take a lot of at-bats," Luhnow told the Houston Chronicle. "I think we learned last year and in years past, some guys get off to a good start. But really, by the end of the 30 (exhibition) games, it sort of begins to reveal itself a little bit more."

Evan Drellich/Houston Chronicle

Tags: Houston Astros

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Astros Reward A.J. Hinch With Extension

Mar 8, 2016 3:52 PM

The Houston Astros have extended the contract of A.J. Hinch ahead of the 2016 season.

Hinch guided the Astros to their first postseason appearance in 10 seasons last year.

Astros owner Jim Crane didn't divulge any details of the deal, but told MLB.com that Hinch "will be here a while."

The Houston Chronicle reported early Tuesday that Hinch had received a revised contract in the offseason that included more money and a longer term.

Brian McTaggart/MLB

Tags: Houston Astros, Misc Rumor

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Astros Tried To Acquire Jonathan Lucroy From Brewers
The Astros tried to acquire Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers in January, but they were not able to come to terms on a deal.

Ken Rosenthal/FOX Sports

Luke Gregerson Thinks He Should Close For Astros
The Astros acquired Ken Giles this offseason, but Luke Gregerson believes he should be closing games for the club.

Mike Axisa/CBS Sports

Astros, Evan Gattis Agree To $3.3M Deal
The two sides had a hearing scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Jerry Crasnick/ESPN

Evan Gattis Out 4-6 Weeks Following Hernia Surgery
The 29-year-old has an arbitration hearing with the Astros set for Feb. 16.

Evan Drellich/Houston Chronicle

Astros Win Arbitration Hearing Against Jason Castro
Jason Castro will earn $5 million this coming season after filing for $5.25 million.

Jon Heyman/CBS Sports

Astros Sign Doug Fister To One-Year Deal
Doug Fister will receive a guaranteed $7 million with incentives that can increase the value to $12 million.

Chris Cotillo/SB Nation

Astros Looking To Round Out Starting Rotation
Houston has explored the possibility of signing Doug Fister. They've also discussed Yovani Gallardo, Alfredo Simon and Kyle Lohse.

Nick Cafardo/Boston Globe

Carlos Correa Hopes To Wear Clemente's No. 21 Someday
Carlos Correa, who took home the AL Rookie of the Year award over the weekend, revealed that he hopes to honor fellow Puerto Rican Roberto Clemente on the field one day.

Chad Thornburg/MLB

Astros, Orioles Interested In Yovani Gallardo
Gallardo, believed to be the top starter left on the free agent market, has also been linked to the Blue Jays this offseason.

Austin Laymance/MLB

Colby Rasmus Wants To Finish Career With Astros
Colby Rasmus, who signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Astros this offseason, says he wants to play a few more years and then retire with the organization.

Rick Hummel/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Astros Unlikely To Sign Yoenis Cespedes
The Astros have been connected to Yoenis Cespedes, but the expectation is that he'll sign elsewhere.

Evan Drellich/Houston Chronicle

Astros Avoid Arbitration With Dallas Keuchel
The Astros and Dallas Keuchel have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $7.25 million deal.

Steve Adams/MLB Trade Rumors

Astros, Padres Will Play Spring Games In Mexico City
It has been 12 years since Major League Baseball traveled to the city.

Associated Press

Astros Inquire With Braves About Ender Inciarte
Atlanta acquired Inciarte, 25, from the Diamondbacks as part of the Shelby Miller deal.

Jerry Crasnick/ESPN

Former Cardinals Executive Pleads Guilty To Hacking Astros
Chris Correa, the former scouting director of the Cardinals, has pleaded guilty to five criminal charges in connection with unauthorized access of the Astros' database.

Jenifer Langosch/MLB

Bagwell, Hoffman, Raines In Good Shape For HOF In 2017
They won't be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, but Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Trevor Hoffman turned in impressive showings on the ballot and look good for 2017.

Doug Miller/MLB

Yovani Gallardo Being Courted By Astros, Orioles, Royals
Yovani Gallardo remains available on the free agent market and is reportedly being courted by the Astros, Orioles and Royals.

Chris Cotillo/SB Nation

Dallas Keuchel, Astros Haven't Discussed Extension
The Astros and Dallas Keuchel haven't discussed a contract extension this offseason, according to agent Darek Braunecker.

MLB Network Radio

Astros Not Going To Trade For Freddie Freeman
The Braves and Astros have had trade discussions centered around Freddie Freeman, but a deal is "simply not going to happen," according to a source.

Jim Bowden/ESPN

Market For Scott Kazmir Taking Shape
Scott Kazmir, 31, has trimmed his suitors to the Royals, Athletics, Cardinals, Nationals and Astros.

Bob Nightengale/USA Today