MLB.com's Brian McTaggart discusses a few hot stove items in his latest mailbag piece…
- The Astros have a limited amount of payroll space to work with, so they would have to free up some money via a trade before they could sign a free agent like Bill Hall or another veteran for depth. We've heard the Dodgers and Yankees are Hall's "most aggressive" suitors, with L.A. allegedly offering Hall the regular left field job, so Houston could be out of luck.
- Houston is looking to add a left-handed reliever either in a trade or from the free agent market.
- McTaggart says it "doesn't make much sense" to deal Michael Bourn since Houston still has two more years of control over him. McTaggart seemed more open to a Wandy Rodriguez trade, noting that the left-hander's age (32 in January) and lousy start to the 2010 season are possible warning signs for the Astros. Rodriguez is entering the last year of his contract and there have been some extension talks, but the Astros might want to see if they can drum up some trade deadline interest in Rodriguez if he has a good start next season.