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Houston Astros Wiretap

Rondell White Could Join Astros

The Astros, who will hold a press conference today at Minute Maid Park to give National League Championship Series MVP Roy Oswalt a tractor, are still mulling over their pursuit of free agent outfielder Rondell White.

White was limited to only 97 games with the Detroit Tigers last year because of shoulder problems, and there is still some concern about his health.

"We just don't have enough information right now," Purpura said.

Via Houston Chronicle

Nomar Could Decide On Thursday

Nomar Garciaparra's agent, Arn Tellem, told ESPN.com Wednesday that Garciaparra hopes to make a decision on his next destination "by the end of the week," and might decide as early as Thursday.

Garciaparra, who is testing free agency for the second straight winter, is "zeroing in on four teams," Tellem said. The Yankees, Indians and Astros are known to be three of them.

The Dodgers could be the fourth. They were thought to be turning in a different direction after reeling in free-agent third baseman Bill Mueller on Wednesday. But two baseball men said later Wednesday they believe the Dodgers are still interested in Garciaparra at first base, left field or possibly both.

Garciaparra is now at the stage where he's "an active participant in the process," Tellem said. "He's talking directly to these teams about baseball issues, trying to get a feel for where he'd be most comfortable." Tellem said Garciaparra has had conversations with managers and general managers of each of the remaining teams on his list.

Although dollars and his future position are, obviously, major factors in the decision, Garciaparra's main concern is "the baseball situation," Tellem said.

"It's the opportunity, the chance it could turn into something long-term, the comfort level," Tellem said. "There are a lot of personal things that go into it."

Tellem would not identify any of the teams still alive and declined to talk about Garciaparra's potential contract terms. However, it's believed he is willing to take a one-year deal for between $6 million and $8 million, plus incentives.


Ausmus Re-Signs With Houston

The Houston Astros on Tuesday re-signed catcher Brad Ausmus to a two-year, $7.5 million contract plus incentives and infielder Mike Lamb to a one-year, $1.7 million contract plus incentives.

Both players contributed to Houston's first trip to the World Series in franchise history in 2005. Ausmus is the starting catcher, while Lamb has filled in at several spots and been one of the Astros' best clutch hitters.

Ausmus, 36, batted .258 in 2005 with three home runs and 47 RBIs in 134 games. He led all National League catchers in the second half with 55 hits. During the 2005 postseason, he hit .268 with a homer and two RBIs. His home run in Game 4 of the National League Division Series tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Houston went on to beat Atlanta in a postseason-record 18 innings to clinch the series.

Via MLB.com

Clemens Not Offered Arbitration

Roger Clemens hasn't decided whether he wants to return for a 23rd season or retire. The Houston Astros might have made that decision for him.

The Astros said Wednesday they will not offer arbitration to Clemens, which means he cannot re-sign with the team until May 1.

The Astros offered Clemens, 43, arbitration last season, and the sides eventually agreed on an $18 million salary for the 2004 season.

An agent for Clemens, who is committed to pitching in the World Baseball Classic in March, said that as of Monday the Rocket would retire if forced to make a decision immediately.

Clemens led the major leagues with a career-low 1.87 ERA last season, going 13-8. He finished third in NL Cy Young Award balloting behind Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis.


Clemens Leaning Toward Retirement

DALLAS -- Roger Clemens hasn't decided if he will pitch next season, again leaving the Houston Astros in a bind as they plan for 2006.

"Today, he would retire if he had to make the decision," Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, said Monday at baseball's winter meetings.

Hendricks added that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, who hobbled off the mound after only two innings in Game 2 of the World Series against the Chicago White Sox because of a strained left hamstring, probably won't make a decision until late January or early February.

The Astros have until Wednesday night to sign Clemens or offer him salary arbitration. Otherwise, he would not be able to re-sign with them before May 1.

Via Associated Press

Astros Dec 2005 Archive