Lowdown: Astros Eyeing Aces

Lowdown: Astros Eyeing Aces
The Houston Astros are casting a wide net in their search for a top starter on the trade market. Catch up on those rumors and more.
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Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to the 2017 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.

Bagwell and Raines both just missed out on making the Hall of Fame last season. Better times in 2017, particularly for Raines (who would not have been eligible next year). He joins the hall having hit .294/.385/.425 with 170 homers, 980 RBI and 808 steals across 23 major league seasons. He amassed six seasons of at least 70 steals. For his part, Bagwell played his entire career with the Astros and slugged 449 home runs while driving in 1,529 runs across 15 campaigns in the bigs. He was a career .297/.408/.540 hitter. Pudge Rodriguez is something of a surprise entrant, here, joining Johnny Bench as the only catcher to be inducted on the first ballot. The longtime Rangers backstop finished out his time in the majors holding a career batting line of .296/.334/.464 to go along with 311 homers and 1,332 RBI. Just missing the cut were Trevor Hoffman (74%) and Vladimir Guerrero (71.7%).
Source: BBWAA.com
Jan 18 - 6:09 PM

Tigers designated OF Anthony Gose for assignment.

Gose becomes the roster casualty following the Tigers' acquisition of outfielder Mikie Mahtook from the Rays. He saw 91 at-bats with the big league club this past season and hit .209/.287/.341 with two homers and seven RBI in that space. Still just 26 years old, Gose will have to try to latch on with another club before spring training boots up in a little over a month.
Jan 18 - 5:48 PM

Tigers acquired OF Mikie Mahtook from the Rays for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Mahtook found little success with the Rays in 2016, slashing a paltry .195/.231/.292 with three homers and 11 RBI across 185 at-bats. The 27-year-old performed more ably the year before (albeit in a smaller sample size), when he boasted a .295/.351/.619 batting line to pair with nine homers and 19 RBI in 111 plate appearances. With the Tigers, he figures to serve as organizational depth, but could potentially carve out a bench role during spring training.
Jan 18 - 5:42 PM

Red Sox signed RHP Kyle Kendrick to a minor league contract.

Kendrick hooked up on a minors deal with the Angels late last March, but he did not see any time at the major league level in 2016. Plying his trade mostly with Triple-A Salt Lake, the 32-year-old right-hander held a 4.72 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 67/19 K/BB ratio across 93 1/3 frames. He has received a non-roster invitation to spring training from the Sox, but his major league prospects are dicey at this point in his career. In 2015 -- his last season in the bigs -- he posted a 6.32 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over 142 1/3 innings with the Rockies.
Jan 18 - 5:13 PM

Angels signed OF Kole Calhoun to a three-year, $26 million contract extension.

The deal includes a $14 million option for 2020. Jeff Flecher of the Orange County Register passed along the final contract details. The two sides just recently agreed to a one-year, $6.35 million contract for 2017, but now the Angels have bought out all three remaining years of arbitration and potentially his first year of free agency. The 29-year-old is coming off a strong season where he batted .271/.348/.438 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI over 157 games.
Jan 18 - 3:04 PM

J.P. Arencibia has announced his retirement from baseball.

Arencibia, 31, spent last season at the Triple-A level between the Rays and Phillies while batting .241/.269/.420 with 16 home runs and 49 RBI over 90 games. Known for his power and non-existent plate discipline, Arencibia will finish with a .212/.258/.412 career batting line and 80 homers in 467 games in stops with the Blue Jays, Rangers, and Rays. Arencibia homered on the first pitch he saw in the majors back in 2010 and became the first player since 1900 to have a pair of home runs and four hits in his major league debut. However, his flawed approach didn't lead to success often enough for him to maintain a significant role in the majors.
Jan 18 - 2:27 PM

Brandon Kintzler plans to potentially throw more offspeed pitches in 2017.

The spring training cliches are pouring in early this year. As Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com notes, only three pitchers threw their fastball more often than Kintzler in 2016. It didn't stop him from posting a 3.15 ERA in 54 appearances while saving 17 games. However, Kintzler isn't satisfied and cites his health as a reason why he plans to experiment with his repertoire. "Last year was my first year ever healthy in the Major Leagues," said Kintzler. "I've had some success but I never felt like I showed what I could do. And I could never practice much in the offseason, even offspeed. But now that I have that chance with a normal offseason, I feel like I have weapons instead of just my fastball." Kintzler will be the fallback for the closer role to start 2017 if Glen Perkins encounters setbacks from labrum surgery.
Jan 18 - 12:46 PM

Athletics designated RHP Zach Neal for assignment.

The move clears a spot for the newly-added Trevor Plouffe on the 40-man roster. Neal, 28, compiled a 4.24 ERA and 27/6 K/BB ratio over 70 innings in a swingman role last season. He posted a groundball rate of 53 percent. There's a chance he'll be scooped up on waivers.
Jan 18 - 12:23 PM
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