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Houston Astros 2017 season

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  • Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
    The #Astros are on verge of acquiring Francisco Liriano from #Bluejays, but deal not yet complete.
    Mark Feinsand @Feinsand
    Astros still looking for RP. Source doesn't think it's Kintzler. Hand/Britton possible, though remains to be seen if Luhnow will pay price.
    Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
    One evaluator on HOU inaction: "If they don't do anything before the deadline, there could be a hangover effect with the players."
    Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal
    Sources: #Astros talking to #BlueJays about Liriano. HOU also working on other things. Likely would use Liriano as reliever if deal happens.


    • Mark Feinsand @Feinsand
      Source: Looks like Gray is either going to Yankees or staying put. NYY offer is best one out there, but A's could opt to wait until winter.


      • Mark Feinsand @Feinsand
        Yankees give up their No. 4 (Fowler), No. 8 (Mateo) and No. 12 (Kaprielian) prospects, but hang on to the guys they most wanted to protect.

        So Yankees land Sonny Gray while hanging on to Torres, Frazier, Sheffield, Adams and Florial - 5 of their top 6 prospects per @MLBPipeline.


        • Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
          #Astros have shown interest in #Angels reliever (and ex-Astro) Bud Norris.


          • Jake Kaplan‏ @jakemkaplan
            McCullers is the third Astros pitcher this season to have two DL stints for the same injury. Keuchel, Harris the others.

            Astros list McCullers' injury as "back discomfort." Same issue he had in June.

            AJ Reed and Michael Feliz called up

            McCullers to the DL


            • 2017 MLB Trade Deadline Tracker

              As we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, we’ll track every deal below. Be sure to keep up with as we report on the latest news and rumors throughout trade season.

              July 31: Dodgers acquire Yu Darvish from Rangers

              DODGERS ACQUIRE: RHP Yu Darvish
              RANGERS ACQUIRE: 2B/OF Willie Calhoun, RHP A.J. Alexy, SS Brendon Davis

              July 31: Pirates acquire Joaquin Benoit from Phillies

              PIRATES ACQUIRE: RHP Joaquin Benoit, cash
              PHILLIES ACQUIRE: RHP Seth McGarry

              July 31: Orioles acquire Tim Beckham from Rays

              ORIOLES ACQUIRE: INF Tim Beckham
              RAYS ACQUIRE: RHP Tobias Myers

              July 31: Nationals acquire Brandon Kintzler from Twins

              NATIONALS ACQUIRE: RHP Brandon Kintzler, international bonus money
              TWINS ACQUIRE: LHP Tyler Watson

              July 31: Dodgers acquire Tony Cingrani from Reds

              DODGERS ACQUIRE: LHP Tony Cingrani
              REDS ACQUIRE: OF Scott Van Slyke, C Henrik Clementina

              July 31: Diamondbacks acquire David Hernandez from Angels

              DIAMONDBACKS ACQUIRE: RHP David Hernandez
              ANGELS ACQUIRE: RHP Luis Madero

              July 31: Dodgers acquire Tony Watson from Pirates

              DODGERS ACQUIRE: LHP Tony Watson
              PIRATES ACQUIRE: RHP Angel German, INF Oneil Cruz

              July 31: Brewers acquire Jeremy Jeffress from Rangers

              BREWERS ACQUIRE: RHP Jeremy Jeffress
              RANGERS ACQUIRE: RHP Tayler Scott

              July 31: Astros acquire Francisco Liriano from Blue Jays

              ASTROS ACQUIRE: LHP Francisco Liriano, cash
              BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE: OF Nori Aoki, OF Teoscar Hernandez

              July 31: Indians acquire Joe Smith from Blue Jays

              INDIANS ACQUIRE: RHP Joe Smith
              BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE: LHP Thomas Pannone, 2B Samad Taylor

              July 31: Yankees acquire Sonny Gray from Athletics

              YANKEES ACQUIRE: RHP Sonny Gray, international bonus money
              ATHLETICS ACQUIRE: OF Dustin Fowler, SS Jorge Mateo, RHP James Kaprielian

              July 31: Diamondbacks acquire Adam Rosales from Athletics

              DIAMONDBACKS ACQUIRE: INF Adam Rosales
              ATHLETICS ACQUIRE: RHP Jeferson Mejia

              July 31: Red Sox acquire Addison Reed from Mets

              RED SOX ACQUIRE: RHP Addison Reed
              METS ACQUIRE: RHP Stephen Nogosek, RHP Jamie Callahan, RHP Gerson Bautista

              July 30: Cubs acquire Justin Wilson, Alex Avila from Tigers

              CUBS ACQUIRE: LHP Justin Wilson, C Alex Avila
              TIGERS ACQUIRE: 1B/3B Jeimer Candelario, SS Isaac Paredes, PTBNL or cash

              July 30: Rockies acquire Jonathan Lucroy from Rangers

              ROCKIES ACQUIRE: C Jonathan Lucroy
              RANGERS ACQUIRE: Player to be named later

              July 30: Royals acquire Melky Cabrera from White Sox

              ROYALS ACQUIRE: OF Melky Cabrera, cash
              WHITE SOX ACQUIRE: RHP A.J. Puckett, LHP Andre Davis

              July 30: Yankees acquire Jaime Garcia from Twins

              YANKEES ACQUIRE: LHP Jaime Garcia, cash
              TWINS ACQUIRE: RHP Zack Littell, LHP Dietrich Enns

              July 28: Orioles acquire Jeremy Hellickson from Phillies

              ORIOLES ACQUIRE: RHP Jeremy Hellickson, cash
              PHILLIES ACQUIRE: OF Hyun-soo Kim, LHP Garrett Cleavinger, international bonus money

              July 28: Mets acquire A.J. Ramos from Marlins

              METS ACQUIRE: RHP A.J. Ramos
              MARLINS ACQUIRE: RHP Merandy Gonzalez, OF Ricardo Cespedes

              July 28: Nationals acquire Howie Kendrick from Phillies

              NATIONALS ACQUIRE: LF/2B Howie Kendrick, cash
              PHILLIES ACQUIRE: LHP McKenzie Mills, international bonus money

              July 27: Rays, Mariners swap Erasmo Ramirez for Steve Cishek

              RAYS ACQUIRE: RHP Steve Cishek, cash
              MARINERS ACQUIRE: RHP Erasmo Ramirez

              July 27: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from Mets

              RAYS ACQUIRE: 1B Lucas Duda
              METS ACQUIRE: RHP Drew Smith

              July 27: Diamondbacks acquire John Ryan Murphy from Twins

              DIAMONDBACKS ACQUIRE: C John Ryan Murphy
              TWINS ACQUIRE: LHP Gabriel Moya

              July 27: Rays acquire Dan Jennings from White Sox

              RAYS ACQUIRE: LHP Dan Jennings
              WHITE SOX ACQUIRE: 1B Casey Gillaspie

              July 26: Rockies acquire Pat Neshek from Phillies

              ROCKIES ACQUIRE: RHP Pat Neshek
              PHILLIES ACQUIRE: INF Jose Gomez, RHP J.D. Hammer, RHP Alejandro Requena

              July 25: Red Sox acquire Eduardo Nunez from Giants

              RED SOX ACQUIRE: INF Eduardo Nunez
              GIANTS ACQUIRE: RHP Shaun Anderson, RHP Gregory Santos

              July 25: Brewers acquire Anthony Swarzak from White Sox

              BREWERS ACQUIRE: RHP Anthony Swarzak
              WHITE SOX ACQUIRE: OF Ryan Cordell

              July 24: Royals acquire Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer, Ryan Buchter from Padres

              ROYALS ACQUIRE: RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Brandon Maurer, LHP Ryan Buchter
              PADRES ACQUIRE: LHP Matt Strahm, LHP Travis Wood, INF Esteury Ruiz, cash

              July 24: Twins acquire Jaime Garcia from Braves

              TWINS ACQUIRE: LHP Jaime Garcia, C Anthony Recker, cash
              BRAVES ACQUIRE: RHP Huascar Ynoa

              July 23: Blue Jays acquire Rob Refsnyder from Yankees

              BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE: 1B Rob Refsnyder
              YANKEES ACQUIRE: 1B Ryan McBroom

              July 22: Rays acquire Sergio Romo from Dodgers

              RAYS ACQUIRE: RHP Sergio Romo, cash
              DODGERS ACQUIRE: PTBNL or cash

              July 21: Mariners, Cardinals swap Tyler O’Neill for Marco Gonzales

              MARINERS ACQUIRE: LHP Marco Gonzales
              CARDINALS ACQUIRE: OF Tyler O’Neill

              July 20: Mariners acquire David Phelps from Marlins

              MARINERS ACQUIRE: RHP David Phelps
              MARLINS ACQUIRE: OF Brayan Hernandez, RHP Brandon Miller, RHP Lukas Schiraldi, RHP Pablo Lopez

              July 18: Yankees acquire Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle from White Sox

              YANKEES ACQUIRE: 1B/3B Todd Frazier, RHP David Robertson, RHP Tommy Kahnle
              WHITE SOX ACQUIRE: RHP Tyler Clippard, OF Blake Rutherford, LHP Ian Clarkin, OF Tito Polo

              July 18: Diamondbacks acquire J.D. Martinez from Tigers

              DIAMONDBACKS ACQUIRE: OF J.D. Martinez
              TIGERS ACQUIRE: INF Dawel Lugo, INF Sergio Alcantara, INF Jose King

              July 16: Nationals acquire Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson from Athletics

              NATIONALS ACQUIRE: LHP Sean Doolittle, RHP Ryan Madson
              ATHLETICS ACQUIRE: RHP Blake Treinen, LHP Jesus Luzardo, 3B Sheldon Neuse

              July 13: Yankees, Brewers swap Tyler Webb, Garrett Cooper

              YANKEES ACQUIRE: 1B Garrett Cooper
              BREWERS ACQUIRE: LHP Tyler Webb

              July 13: Cubs acquire Jose Quintana from White Sox

              CUBS ACQUIRE: LHP Jose Quintana
              WHITE SOX ACQUIRE: OF Eloy Jimenez, RHP Dylan Cease, INF Matt Rose, INF Bryant Flete

              July 3: Blue Jays acquire Miguel Montero from Cubs

              BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE: C Miguel Montero, cash
              CUBS ACQUIRE: PTBNL or cash

              July 2: Rangers acquire Jason Grilli from Blue Jays

              RANGERS ACQUIRE: RHP Jason Grilli, cash
              BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE: OF Eduard Pinto

              June 26: Rays acquire Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

              RAYS ACQUIRE: SS Adeiny Hechavarria
              MARLINS ACQUIRE: OF Braxton Lee, RHP Ethan Clark


              • Image via: ESPN97.5

                Jim Crane: We had some deals in place that got vetoed

                By ESPN 975 Staff
                Today on Granato and Raheel with Del, Astros owner Jim Crane joined the guys and discussed all the action that happened at the MLB trade deadline yesterday, what he expects from the team going forward, the health of Lance McCullers, and much more.

                MLB Trade Deadline

                Crane shed some light on what was going on behind the scenes as the deadline approached, and how close Jeff Luhnow was to landing a blockbuster trade for a pitcher. Finally, Crane said some of the deals the Astros were pursuing hit a snag late in the process when an owner stepped in and vetoed the trades.

                Make sure you listen to the entire interview to find out what really went down yesterday. You can catch Granato and Raheel with Del weekdays from 9-11am CT on ESPN 97.5 radio. You can listen live or on demand with the ESPN 97.5 radio app.

                That would be with the Orioles, for Britton. Everybody signed off on it and the owner nixed it last minute.

                I'm surprised he crossed that line. Owners typically don't do that.


                • Dallas Keuchel disappointed Astros didn't make big deadline trade

         news services
                  The Houston Astros have the second-best record in baseball and the largest division lead in the majors, but ace Dallas Keuchel is highly disappointed the team couldn't do more at the trade deadline.

                  "I mean, I'm not going to lie, disappointment is a little bit of an understatement," Keuchel said Tuesday, a day after the trade deadline. "I feel like a bunch of teams really bolstered their rosters for the long haul and for a huge playoff push, and us just kind of staying pat was really disappointing to myself."

                  The Yankees have added pitchers Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, and third baseman Todd Frazier in a series of moves. The Red Sox, who are battling the Yankees for the top spot in the AL East, acquired reliever Addison Reed on Monday. The Indians, the reigning AL pennant winners, also bolstered their bullpen by trading for right-hander Joe Smith.

                  Though the Astros were linked to Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, Houston added only left-hander Francisco Liriano at Monday's non-waiver trade deadline.

                  The Astros have lost three pitchers -- Lance McCullers Jr. (back), Tony Sipp(calf) and Michael Feliz (shoulder) -- to the disabled list this week. Keuchel himself is coming off of his first start in nearly two months due to a neck injury.

                  Despite mounting injuries and failing to land a big addition, Keuchel believes Houston has a championship-caliber team.

                  "I think we have a good enough team to go to the World Series," Keuchel said. "We've pretty much had the same team since spring training. So, that was the motto in spring training -- we knew we were going to be good. And now that we didn't really do too much at the deadline, it's going to be an in-clubhouse kind of vibe the rest of the year."

                  Keuchel just hopes a 9-7 start to the second half and a quiet trade deadline isn't a prelude to a postseason letdown.

                  "We obviously believe in ourselves and we believe we're good enough to win now and get to the World Series," Keuchel said. "It's just good teams can always be great and great teams can always be legendary. So, at the end of the year we want to be the only ones left. It's just a little disappointing for sure."


                  • Inside the deadline: What happened to the #Astros, and how it related to the #Orioles, #Dodgers and #Cubs.

                    Ken Rosenthal

                    The Astros entered Monday thinking they were going to trade for three relievers:

                    Francisco Liriano, Zach Britton and a third, unidentified high-end type whose addition would have surprised the industry, according to major-league sources.

                    The Astros landed only Liriano, who has yet to pitch in relief this season, but had a 5.88 ERA in 18 starts for the Blue Jays.

                    “We had a couple of other deals on the plate,” Astros owner Jim Crane told ESPN 97.5 Radio in Houston. “They were agreed on in principle. Then medicals were exchanged and they got vetoed at the top.”

                    Crane declined to specify which players the Astros were trying to acquire, but sources provided further details.

                    The mystery reliever stayed put when his team’s owner decided against trading him, while the Britton talks broke down - as negotiations with the Orioles sometimes do - when the O’s raised concerns about the medical condition of at least one player coming back to them.

                    Whatever the reasons, the consensus among many in the industry and inside the Astros’ clubhouse was that general manager Jeff Luhnow did not do enough to improve the team’s sagging pitching staff. Ace left-hander Dallas Keuchel was openly critical of the outcome, telling reporters, “I’m not going to lie. Disappointment is a little bit of an understatement.”

                    The Astros’ failures at the deadline were not for lack of effort. But they made six to seven prospects off-limits in discussions for Britton and Padres left-hander Brad Hand, sources said. They perhaps were too confident of completing a trade with the Orioles, a team that executives frequently describe as difficult to deal with. And they were unable to implement contingencies - unlike the Dodgers, who also pursued Britton.

                    The Dodgers, at one point Monday, also felt they were progressing toward a deal for Britton, sources said. But about one hour before the deadline, the Orioles pulled back and informed the Dodgers that they would not trade their reliever, a two-time All-Star.

                    Instead, the Dodgers acquired two lesser left-handed relievers, Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani. Watson, who rebounded in July after pitching poorly in May and June, is probably a better bet to succeed than Liriano will with the Astros; Cingrani, who has had a rocky season, is more of a longshot.

                    The difference between the Dodgers and Astros, of course, is that the Dodgers still wound up making a major move, acquiring one of the biggest prizes of the deadline, right-handed starter Yu Darvish.

                    The Astros made a late run at Darvish and in their estimation offered a stronger package than the Dodgers, sources said. The Rangers held a decidedly different opinion, viewing the Astros’ offers for Darvish, both early and late, as non-competitive – and Rangers ownership had given the front office permission to make the best baseball trade, even if it was with the cross-state and division rival Astros, sources said.

                    Another team that pursued Britton, the Cubs, took a more aggressive stance with the Orioles than the Astros, refusing to wait until the final day for the negotiations to resolve.

                    The Cubs, who were in simultaneous talks for Justin Wilson, the Tigers’ left-handed closer, gave the Orioles a deadline of Sunday night to make a decision, sources said. When the Orioles balked, saying they needed until Monday, the Cubs traded for Wilson and catcher Alex Avila.

                    Wilson and Britton, in the Cubs’ estimation, were equal targets with different strengths, upsides and risks, sources said. Britton, has missed more than 2½ months with a strained left forearm this season. Wilson has never been on the disabled list and came at a lower acquisition cost; the Cubs acquired him and Avila for two prospects, third baseman Jeimer Candelario and shortstop Isaac Paredes.

                    The danger in waiting for Britton, the Cubs believed, was that the Orioles would “go dark” and stop communicating with them for several hours on Monday - a common experience for teams that engage with the O’s, according to rival executives.

                    The Cubs wanted no part of such uncertainty, sources said.

                    They knew Orioles owner Peter Angelos was a stickler for “clean” medicals, and feared a delay close to the deadline might leave them with nothing. Rather than take such a risk, they jumped on the proverbial “bird in the hand” - Wilson. If they instead had landed Britton, they might have acquired Avila anyway or made a smaller deal for a different catcher, sources said.

                    The Astros, too, were well aware of the Orioles’ reputation as an occasionally difficult negotiating partner. Luhnow, though, had completed three trades with Orioles counterpart Dan Duquette – including a deadline deal in 2013 in which the Astros acquired left-hander Josh Hader, outfielder L.J. Hoes and a 2014 competitive-balance pick for right-hander Bud Norris.

                    This time was different.

                    The Orioles went dark on both the Astros and Dodgers for several hours, sources said; the breakdown with the Astros occurred while the teams were in the medical review stage.

                    “Teams make agreements with contingencies which become deals when the contingencies are removed,” Duquette said. “It’s part of the process.”

                    Luhnow declined comment.

                    Teams assign their own standards to medicals, just as they assign their own values to players. The Orioles and Astros had a difference in opinion on the players in the package for Britton, sources said.

                    The Orioles believed that one of the Astros’ prospects had a legitimate medical problem and thought another might be questionable.

                    The Astros considered their players healthy, and concluded that Angelos and/or Duquette simply got cold feet – a belief that was reinforced to them when the Orioles passed on proposed substitutes for the players at the center of the disagreement.

                    The teams talked once more shortly before the deadline, but the Orioles asked for a package beyond Houston’s comfort level, sources said.

                    The Orioles, at times, indeed seemed torn.

                    Britton had come off his second trip to the DL on July 5, and the Orioles considered him to be sound, justifying a return comparable to the packages the Yankees received for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller at last year’s deadline. In the Orioles’ view, Britton’s forearm strain was relatively mild - closer to his wrist, and not a precursor to a torn elbow ligament that would require Tommy John surgery.

                    Other clubs, meanwhile, suspected all along that the Orioles would not sell, knowing the team had done so only once since Angelos purchased the club in 1993.

                    Duquette was on record as saying that he wanted to improve his roster. In the end, that’s what he did, acquiring right-hander Jeremy Hellickson and shortstop Tim Beckham – and suddenly the Orioles are on a five-game winning streak, moving to within 2½ games of the second wild-card spot.

                    The Astros, after getting caught in the Orioles’ tangled web, chose not to make a run at the Padres’ Hand, the third quality left-handed reliever on the market, after Britton and Wilson. Those talks, sources said, disintegrated down over differences in Hand’s perceived value.

                    The Astros and other teams considered the Padres’ asking price as unreasonable, but one Padres official said the club did not ask for any players ranked among the game’s top 100 prospects - a claim disputed by executives from two of Hand's suitors after the initial publishing of this story.

                    As for the Astros’ list of untouchables, it varied depending upon the player they were trying to acquire, sources said.

                    The team discussed major-league pieces in certain trades, and considered only two prospects completely off-limits. One, presumably, was outfielder Derek Fisher, who currently is the team’s leadoff hitter and starting left fielder and viewed by the club as a critical piece going forward.

                    The bottom line is this:

                    In trading season, fans and players care little about reasons deals collapse; they care almost solely about results.

                    The Astros had three trades for relievers lined up on Monday. And the only one they completed was for Liriano, a pitcher who is not a guarantee to help.


                    • Christian Boutwell @_CBoutwell
                      Two #Astros won awards earlier today.
                      Jose Altuve: AL Player of the Month

                      Yuli Gurriel: AL Rookie of the Month


                      • Jake Kaplan @jakemkaplan
                        The reason A.J. Hinch caught warmup pitches before an inning tonight: Evan Gattis has a concussion.
                        Robert Murray @RobertMurrayFRS
                        Source: #Astros calling up No. 14 prospect J.D. Davis.
                        Playing 3b in Fresno.


                        • Richard Justice @richardjustice
                          Astros lead over Red Sox down to 8.5 games in race for AL best record.

                          Pay attention. Objects are closer than they appear.


                          • Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
                            Sources: #Tigers, #Astros have had contact this month regarding possible Justin Verlander trade; unclear if there is momentum in talks. @MLB


                            • Astros not likely to trade for Justin Verlander

                              Yes, the Astros acquired Francisco Liriano, but he has not pitched well in his first two apperances. While it was rumored that they were close on a few trades, nothing got done by the deadline.

                              As we discussed on Talking Stros last night, fans and national media bashed the Astros on not making a move. The Nationals, Yankees, and Dodgers all made moves to strengthen their weaknesses.

                              Didn’t address the bullpen needs.

                              The bullpen appears to be a weakness post deadline, especially with Will Harris going back on the DL. Joe Musgrove has looked good and Ken Giles is the most reliable reliever at the moment. Kenneth has earned a place in Astro fans circle of trust after a rocky 2016. Chris Devenski has struggled recently as well.

                              The Astros have depth in the starting rotation even with a Lance McCullers out. However, outside of healthy Dallas Keuchel and McCullers, who could be that third starter in the playoffs? Brad Peacock could, but would his role be better in the bullpen?

                              What about Collin McHugh or Charlie Morton? A month ago I would have said Mike Fiers, but he has struggled on his past two starts. With the uncertainty with McCullers back issues, the Astros could still be looking for a starting pitcher.

                              Justin Verlander is available.

                              No matter how much you trust Jon Morosi, he claimed the Astros were trying to get Justin Wilson and Justin Verlander last month. There was some buzz, but it was unclear how much they discussed a trade. That was then and this is now. Could Jeff Luhnow be ready to make a move?
                              Pitching in front of an Astros scout, Verlander recorded his third double-digit strikeout game of the season.

                              — anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) August 5, 2017
                              According to Anthony Feneche, the Astros had a scout watch Justin Verlander pitch the other day. In that game, Verlander recorded double digit strikeouts. While scouts go watch players play all the time, could there be more behind that tweet?

                              As expected, Verlander did clear waivers. Now he is available for any team. Morosi again tweeted that the Astros and Tigers have had contact this month about Verlander. He states that he is not sure there is any progression towards a deal.

                              The reasons a Verlander trade will be hard.

                              It would be harder to make the deal now, because the Astros can not trade anyone on the 40-man roster. In order to do so, they would have to clear waivers. Francis Martes, Derek Fisher, and J.D. Davis would not clear waivers. They would have to look deeper into the farm system.

                              Unfortunately, Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley are not on the 40-man roster. Jeff Luhnow said there are no untouchables, it just depends on the player they are getting back in return. They would like to hold onto those two players if possible.

                              If we are to believe Morosi, it is still not likely that a deal gets done. The big question is would Verlander even accept a deal to Houston as he has a full no trade clause.

                              Then you have the $56 million guaranteed over the next two seasons plus the remaining salary this year. If Verlander finishes in the top five in Cy Youngvoting, he has a $22 million vesting option for 2019.

                              How much the Tigers would pay on that salary would depend on what package they get back. With all that said, it is unlikely to get a deal done. The Astros don’t want to give up the prospects and Tigers don’t want to pay.
                              The #Astros called the #Tigers to check in on Justin Verlander, but nothing materialized; Tigers say Verlander likely to stay until winter.

                              — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 7, 2017
                              Verlander not likely happening.

                              According to Bob Nightengale, the Astros did call the Tigers to inquire about Verlander. Nightengale said that nothing came of it and they will hold onto him until the offseason.

                              Even if Verlander is not the pitcher he was when he won Cy Young or MVP, he could have helped the Astros. This could be another case of the Astros trying, but unable to reach a deal. This was an extremely unlikely case anyway. Move on from Verlander.

                              ***Stats from Baseball-Reference***


                              • Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

                                Alex Bregman finding his groove at the plate

                                Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman has often felt like an odd man out for much of his time with teh major league club. Either Bregman has been one of the talking points for any trades involving the Astros or he isn’t mentioned with team’s top players like Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer.

                                But Bregman has always proven at every turn that he makes adjustments to excel at each level of his baseball career: In the minors, he made constant jumps. Single Quad Cities (batting average: .259) to Single-A Lancaster (.319), and Double-A Corpus Christi (.297) to Triple-A Fresno (.333). Now the jump is happening in the majors: rookie season (.264) to sophomore campaign (.273).

                                Batting average isn’t the stat to focus totally on, of course. But the progression for Bregman has been clear and he’s picking up the slack with Correa and Springer out.

                                Bregman is currently batting .367 in his last eight games with eight extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. Bregman collected an extra-base hit in eight straight games, the third-longest streak in franchise history — tying Morgan Ensberg’s run in 2006.

                                Bregman’s fWAR has jumped to 2.3 with a wRC+ of 122.