Astros GM Jon Daniels talked Winter Meetings with MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Among the topics were rumors surrounding Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro. Luhnow says teams have called on both players, but Houston is not actively seeking to deal either of them. Luhnow is particularly happy with his catching depth, which includes Castro, Hank Conger, Carlos Corporan, and Max Stassi. He also pointed out the club is open to trading prospects in the right deal, as they did with Jordan Lyles, Jarred Cosart, and Nick Tropeano.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik reiterated that pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma will not be traded, tweets Greg Johns of MLB.com. Iwakuma, 34 next season, has been excellent when healthy. Unfortunately, he’s also missed parts of two out of three major league seasons.
- The Mariners are already receiving calls on recently acquired starter J.A. Happ, tweets Kevin Shockey of SportsRadioKJR.com. My guess is that teams are looking to gauge how the Mariners plan to use Happ. The southpaw quietly added two mph to his fastball last season and adjusted his repertoire as a result. Some clubs may view him as a possible breakout target.
- One option to replace outfielder Michael Saunders is infielder Brad Miller, writes Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle. The club’s outfield coach called him a natural, and he does appear to be blocked by Robinson Cano, Chris Taylor, and Kyle Seager in the infield. Taylor is obviously the weak link of the trio. After a solid but flawed debut, he could relinquish the job back to Miller.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels would like to add at least one more starter, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Another area of concern for the club – catcher – could be solved by a familiar face. When asked about former Ranger Geovany Soto (via Twitter), Daniels said “the door’s open.” Soto spent parts of the last three seasons as the Rangers backup catcher.