We’ve heard plenty of chatter over the last few months about the Astros’ interest in adding at the back of their pen. It appears from the latest notes that the club is still casting a wide net:
- Houston recently discussed power righty Ken Giles with the Phillies, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. Philadelphia “brought up” young starters Lance McCullers Jr. and Vince Velasquez in the talks, per the report. That obviously indicates what kind of return Philadelphia seeks. From my perspective, it would be somewhat surprising to see the ’Stros part with controllable, MLB-level arms such as those, given that they not only have the possibility of being long-term rotation pieces but might be expected to be dominant relievers themselves if shifted to such a role.
- The Astros have also “been engaged” with the Rays on their high-leverage arms, Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee, Crasnick tweets. It appears that GM Jeff Luhnow is looking for ways to add controllable pieces at the back of the pen, Crasnick suggests.
- Having a preference for long-term control, though, doesn’t appear to mean that the club isn’t seriously interested in otherworldly Reds closer Aroldis Chapman, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that he sits “on top of the list” for Houston. Interestingly, Crasnick notes on Twitter that Astros owner Jim Crane is reputedly a “big fan” of the Cuban sensation.