Astros quiet, but productive, at Winter Meetings

Club likely to add a starter and a big bat before offseason's end

December 13th, 2018

LAS VEGAS -- Astros president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow called Houston's work at the Winter Meetings productive, even though the club didn't make any transactions before leaving Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino early on Thursday.

The Astros weren't alone in their inactivity, as many teams didn't make significant moves, keeping with the recent trend of the free-agent market not picking up steam until January. Luhnow said the club had productive meetings with free agents and teams throughout the week and made a few offers.

• Hot Stove Tracker

It remains likely the Astros will make at least one impact move before the start of Spring Training in two months. Remember, their biggest move last offseason was a mid-January trade to acquire pitcher from the Pirates.


1. SP: Charlie Morton is headed to the Rays, is out for the 2019 season following Tommy John surgery and remains a free agent, so the Astros could use a proven arm to join a rotation anchored by and Cole. will also be moved into the rotation next year, but another veteran to stick in the middle of the rotation is the goal.

2. OF/DH: The Astros need to add a bat, and the DH gives them flexibility to add it just about anywhere other than the middle infield. They've already added in a trade, and he'll play all over the infield and in left field. First baseman Yuli Gurriel will move around the infield, as well. Top prospect will get a shot in left field, but the team wants another bat, preferably from the left side.

• Stage set for Tucker to break out

3. C: Yes, they signed last week to stabilize their catching situation, putting him alongside . If the Astros open the season with that duo, they'll be content. Maybe. The Astros would still like to add another catcher and, yes, J.T. Realmuto remains out there. There hasn't been much link between Realmuto and the Astros in recent weeks, but it would be hard to believe they don't have a strong interest.


The Astros lost two players in the Major League phase of this year's Rule 5 Draft. Miami selected right-handed pitcher Riley Ferrell in the first round and San Francisco took outfielder Drew Ferguson in the second round. In the Minor League phase, the Astros had one player selected: right-handed pitcher Ryan Thompson went to Tampa Bay. The Astros didn't select any players in the Major League phase but added defensive catcher Alejandro Flores from the Nationals organization in the Minor League phase.


"Fans need to have that perspective that it does feel like things are happening later and later in the offseason, and that's OK. It doesn't mean your team's not going to do anything. It might, but it doesn't necessarily mean that." -- Luhnow