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Astros expected to tweak WS roster at Meetings

Adding quality lefty reliever highest on Luhnow's to-do list at annual gathering
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Astros' quiet offseason, which has come of the heels on the club's scintillating run to the World Series championship, figures to kick into full gear when baseball's annual Winter Meetings get underway here Monday.

The Winter Meetings run through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, with the front offices from all 30 teams, dozens of player agents and everyone else in baseball gathering in one location. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is scheduled to arrive on Monday.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Astros' quiet offseason, which has come of the heels on the club's scintillating run to the World Series championship, figures to kick into full gear when baseball's annual Winter Meetings get underway here Monday.

The Winter Meetings run through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, with the front offices from all 30 teams, dozens of player agents and everyone else in baseball gathering in one location. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is scheduled to arrive on Monday.

"I do think at the Winter Meetings the pace is going to pick up a lot," Luhnow said. "I've always said you judge your offseason by where you are on Opening Day and not mid-December."

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The Astros, who have yet to make any additions to the roster, are in the market for relief pitching, though adding another starting pitcher or another bat isn't out of the question. The core of the club that won 101 games and beat the Dodgers in seven games in the World Series returns, so Houston figures to be in good shape for next season without making a significant move.

Still, the club would like to upgrade a bullpen that needs a quality left-handed reliever, as well as more help at the back end. Astros manager A.J. Hinch pieced his bullpen together in the playoffs with starting pitchers like Justin Verlander, Brad Peacock, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. playing a big role in relief.

Video: McTaggart on Astros' search for pitching, power bat

Closer Ken Giles, who struggled in the playoffs, returns, along with steady Will Harris and All-Star Chris Devenski. Joe Musgrove figures to continue to play a big role in the bullpen, but the Astros need more depth.

Hot Stove Tracker

Hinch will address the media at 4 p.m. CT on Tuesday, when he will undoubtedly talk about the team's World Series run and get questions about whether the Astros can repeat in 2018.

MLB.com will be onsite all week to bring you all the news from the Astros and Luhnow's media availability, currently scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday only.

Last week, Luhnow said the club was engaged in conversations with teams regarding trades and agents regarding players they are interested in signing, but said nothing was imminent. Things could move quicker this week.

"For us, it's probably additions to the bullpen that's probably the highest priority," Luhnow said. "There are quite a few good options out there so it's probably the most likely way we're going to go. Whether it's free agency or through trade, that's probably one area we'll end up making at least one move in."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros