In a lengthy Q&A with Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required), Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow touches on a slew of topics relating to the defending world champions, including the futures of shortstop Carlos Correa, center fielder George Springer, left-hander Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Justin Verlander. There’s no word on whether the Astros have begun extension talks with any of those players, but Luhnow would unsurprisingly like to retain each of them for the long haul. “If I could wave a magic wand and keep all three of those guys, plus others here for the foreseeable future and possibly for their entire careers, I would do it! It’s amazing to watch them,” he said of Correa, Springer and Keuchel. Luhnow added that he’d also like for Verlander to finish his career in Houston, which only has him under wraps through next season. Correa’s under control through 2021, meanwhile, and Springer isn’t slated to hit free agency until after the 2019 campaign. Keuchel could be gone sooner, though, as he’s scheduled to reach the open market next winter.
More from the majors’ West divisions…
- Injured Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner is taking dry swings, but the team remains unsure when he will make his 2018 debut, manager Dave Roberts told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com and other reporters Saturday. The superstar has been out since late March with a broken left wrist, and the defending NL champion Dodgers have clearly missed him during a 4-8 start. In Turners’s absence, their third basemen have hit an ugly .250/.293/.382 (65 wRC+) in 82 plate appearances.
- The Athletics sent righty reliever Liam Hendriks to the disabled list on Saturday with adductor tendinitis in his groin. Before that, he was in danger of being designated for assignment, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Hendriks was a solid reliever for the A’s from 2016-17, but he then gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks over his first three innings this year and dealt with a drop in velocity. The injury had something to do with that, according to Hendriks. “It was always kind of there and I felt like I was doing everything right,” he said, “but I went back and looked at the video and my mechanics were completely different, trying to overcompensate.”
- The Giants expect righty Johnny Cueto to come off the DL for a start Tuesday against Arizona, manager Bruce Bochy informed reporters, including Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News, on Saturday. Cueto landed on the shelf this past Tuesday, retroactive to April 7, with a sprained ankle. As a result, the Giants have been missing their three best starters – the injured Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija are the others – though the only one who’s not nearing a return is Bumgarner, whom the club moved to the 60-day DL earlier this week (fractured finger).
- The Mariners activated designated hitter Nelson Cruz prior to Saturday’s game against Oakland, sending right-hander Casey Lawrence to Triple-A to clear roster space, the team announced. Cruz went on the DL on April 3 with an ankle sprain, before which he opened the year with two home runs in just six at-bats.