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December 10 - This Date in Astros History
December 10 - This Date in Astros History
December 10

1996 - Astros swap pitchers Todd Jones and Doug Brocail along with outfielder Brian Hunter and shortstop Orlando Miller to Detroit for pitchers Jose Lima, C.J. Nitkowski and Trever Miller along with catcher Brad Ausmus and first baseman Daryle Ward. Ausmus is the man Houston really wants but Lima and Ward eventually become major contributors.
1993 - Slugger Eric Anthony is traded to Seattle for lefthander Mike Hampton. It's one of the better swaps in team history as Hampton steadily improves in his six seasons in Houston while Anthony is unable to regain his batting stroke.
1991 - Outfielder Kenny Lofton is traded to the Cleveland Indians for catcher Ed Taubensee. While Taubensee becomes an adequate receiver, Lofton becomes one of the top players of the decade. In a separate deal, Houston also sends infielder Dave Rhode to Cleveland for righthander Willie Blair.
1982 - The big news in Houston is the free agent signing of outfielder Omar Moreno from Pittsburgh. Little noticed is a second deal sending first baseman Danny Heep to the New York Mets for pitcher Mike Scott. The righthander brings a 14-27 record with him from New York.
1963 - Colts acquire second baseman Nellie Fox from the White Sox for pitcher Jim Golden, outfielder Danny Murphy and cash. The veteran infielder bats .265 in two season before joining the coaching ranks. A team player, Fox leads the league in sacrifice bunts during the 1964 season while mentoring the young Colts.

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Date      Opp      Result
9/01     @TOR*     W 2-0
9/02     @MIL*     W 3-2
9/03     @MIL      L 4-2
9/04      off        --
9/05      SEA     W 11-9
9/06      SEA      W 7-4
9/07      SEA      W 2-1
9/08      SEA*    W 21-1
9/09      OAK     W 15-0
9/10      OAK     L 21-7
9/11      OAK      L 5-3
9/12      OAK      L 3-2
9/13     @KC       W 4-1
9/14     @KC       W 6-1
9/15     @KC*     W 12-3
9/16      off        --
9/17      TEX      W 4-1
9/18      TEX      W 3-2
9/19      off        --
9/20      ANA      W 6-4
9/21      ANA      L 8-4
9/22      ANA*    W 13-5
9/23      off        --
9/24     @SEA      W 3-0
9/25     @SEA      W 3-0
9/26     @ANA      L 4-3
9/27     @ANA      W 4-0
9/28     @ANA      W 6-3
9/29     @ANA*     W 8-5
9/30      off        --
10/4      TAM*     W 6-2
10/5      TAM      W 3-1
10/7     @TAM*    L 10-3
10/8     @TAM      L 4-1
10/10     TAM      W 6-1
10/12     NYY      L 7-0
10/13     NYY      W 3-2
10/15    @NYY*     W 4-1
10/16    @NYY        ppd
10/17    @NYY      W 8-3
10/18    @NYY      L 4-1
10/19     NYY      W 6-4
10/22     WSH      L 5-4
10/23     WSH     L 12-3
10/25    @WSH      W 4-1
10/26    @WSH      W 8-1
10/27    @WSH      W 7-1
10/29     WSH      L 7-2
10/30     WSH      L 6-2
* - day game.

April record:   18 - 12
May record:     20 -  8
June record:    15 - 12
July record:    16 -  8
August record:  19 -  9
Sept. record:   19 -  6
ALDS             3 -  2
ALCS             4 -  2
WS               3 -  4
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Houston Astros recap - 12/05/19 - Marisnick Traded Before Winter Meetings
Marisnick Traded Before Winter Meetings
Aaron Sanchez Non-Tendered, Biagini Signed

Farewell, Jake
(c) Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle
The Thanksgiving week has been a quiet one around Astrostown but there will soon be news as the Winter Meetings heat up next week in San Diego, CA, including the Rule 5 draft. The Astros did ink free agent catcher Dustin Garneau to a one-year contract. The 32-year-old split time between the Angels and Athletics last year, batting .244 but is likely getting, at best, a backup role.

Just before this was marked for posting, Houston swung a deal with the New York Mets, sending outfielder Jake Marisnick for two minor leaguers - lefty reliever Blake Taylor who compiled a 2.16 ERA last year across three minor league levels and Venezuelan teenaged outfielder Kenedy Corona who played last year in the Dominican league and was promoted to A-ball. While Taylor may have a chance to stick if he impresses this spring, Corona is likely years away for contending for a spot in the majors.

Marisnick, acquired in 2014 from Miami along with Francis Martes and Colin Moran for Jarred Cosart and Enrique "Kike" Hernandez, batted .233 with 10 homers last season while playing exceptional outfield defense. He was among nine Astros receiving arbitration offers last week.

Houston also non-tendered pitcher Aaron Sanchez, who was acquired from the Blue Jays at the trade deadline and started a no-hit game in August before being shelved due to surgery on his right shoulder. A Scott Boras client, Sanchez would have likely cost several million in salary and been unable to give the team a complete season so, with the luxury tax cap looming this off-season, the decision was made to cut Sanchez loose, making him a free agent.

Other arbitration-eligible players were tendered offers and one, reliever Joe Biagini, has already agreed to terms. The 29-year-old righthander didn't have much negotiating power. He came over from Toronto in the same trade as Sanchez and was 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA in 13 appearances for Houston before being demoted to Round Rock. He also did not make any of the postseason rosters.

The other seven cases, outfielder George Springer, infielders Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz as well as pitchers Lance McCullers, Brad Peacock, Roberto Osuna and Chris Devenski, will be negotiated this winter with final figures filed in mid-January should no agreement be reached.

Springer may get a raise to above the $20 million mark in his final year of eligibility (remember the Astros ignored pleas to call him up sooner during the 2014 season resulting in this extra arbitration year). He and Correa may possibly become trade pieces as the Astros shop for pitchers and catchers. Moves like Sanchez and Marisnick may provide some cushion but a few bold moves may be needed to stay under the luxury tax cap.

Speaking of which, while there were reports this week that Mets righthander Zack Wheeler was prepared to sign with the Phillies, later reports were that the Astros were still in the hunt. Meanwhile, the Rangers, with far greater spending flexibility and a new stadium to fill, bowed out of the bidding (incidentally, the Rangers unveiled new uniforms this week that include a baby-blue home alternate uniform in case they want to be confused with the Royals).

Wheeler has been an admitted target of the Astros, even though he will cost in excess of $100 million to sign and will cost Houston a compensation draft pick. After Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, the Houston rotation is currently made up of wishes and prayers such as McCullers, Jose Urquidy, Francis Martes, Framber Valdez and top prospect Forrest Whitley.

As players are signed or acquired in trade, it has been the modus operandi of the Astros to lay low and then sign players after New Year's Day where they can save some money. However, more teams are adopting the Astros' methods and times have changed. The Astros are no longer trying to compete. They are trying to dominate - which carries a higher pricetag.

This may be an offseason of major changes although there is also the cloud of institutional discipline hanging over the team's head. Some claim players won't want to play for a "tainted" ballclub but I don't believe it. You don't see NFL players refusing to play for the Patriots. They want to go some place where they can augment their salaries with playoff money and live the excitement of a pennant run.

The venom seen on the internet against the Astros is tangible but, as one writer pointed out "Yankee fans complaining about the 2017 ALCS would do well here to remember that they lost four games in Houston mostly because New York scored a total of three runs there." No amount of sign-stealing could defeat the Yankee offense.

- Bob Hulsey

Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
(click to order)


RSS Feed | News Archives
Rays hope, don’t think Astros cheated in ALDS, but... - Tampa Bay Times
Correa, Rodriguez tie knot - KHOU-TV
Dodgers reportedly sign Guduan - 12up
Rose defends Astros in cheating scandal - KTRK-TV
Pitchers who had their careers ruined in Houston in 2017 speak out against sign-stealing scandal - 12up
Astros face a question-filled winter meetings - Houston Chronicle
Astros reportedly monitoring Josh Lindblom market - 12up
Kelly to coach bench at Pirates - Houston Chronicle
The next move for the Astros could also be their toughest - SportsMap
How the Astros will continue winning anyway - SportsMap
Own a piece of Astros history and bring some MMP seats home! - KHOU-TV
Cubs free agent focus: Will Harris - NBC Sports Chicago
3 Astros prospects who should remain off limits during winter trade talks - 12up
Astros eyeing starters, catchers at Meetings - Astros.com
Altuve helps fan celebrate her 100th birthday - Houston Chronicle
Browns brawl and Astros scandal test limits of sports fandom - Martinez (CA) Tribune
Mets trade for Marisnick - Associated Press
Astros eyeing starters, catchers at Meetings - MLB.com
3 factors that impact the Astros' strategy on the trade market - SportsMap
Astros have shown interest in Contreras, report says - NBC Sports Chicago
Another Astros player ties the knot in offseason - KTRK-TV
Quintana doubling as first baseman in Mexican Winter League - Runner Sports
Marisnick will be missed in multiple ways by Astros - Houston Chronicle
Astros reportedly interested in trading for Contreras - 12up
Astros trade Marisnick to Mets for two prospects - Reuters
Astros trade Marisnick to the Mets - SportsMap
Mets acquire Marisnick from Astros for prospects - New York Daily News
Astros trade Marisnick to Mets for 2 prospects - Astros.com
Astros trade Marisnick to Mets - Houston Chronicle
Memes mourn as Astros trade beloved outfielder to New York - Houston Chronicle
Marisnick Traded Before Winter Meetings
- Astros Daily
Damon explains Astros’ cheating advantage (Video) - Elite Sports NY
The Astros sign stealing scandal as a Yankees fan - The Whit
Dodgers and Angels meet with Cole - Log Angeles Times
What Cole told the Yankees at his free agency meeting - The Spun
Astros still involved in Wheeler market - MLB Trade Rumors
Astros reportedly still involved in talks for Wheeler - Yard Barker
Davis says he doesn't know anything about Astros' alleged cheating - New York Newsday
Team physician for Astros, Rockets and Texans, talks big wins and injuries - Texas Medical Center News
Astros score prestigious Holocaust Museum Houston award - CultureMap
Astros-themed light display in Spring is a must-see - KPRC-TV
Astros cheating scandal a ‘tricky thing’ for Sabathia - New York Post
Biagini agrees to deal with Astros, who cut Sanchez - Associated Press
Are the Astros the Patriots of baseball? - Off the Brnch
The smartest guys in the clubhouse - New Republic
So much for Sanchez’s Astros career - Houston Chronicle
Astros to non-tender Sanchez - MLB Trade Rumors
Ray trade speculation includes Astros, Cubs, Braves - Arizona Republic
Here are Winter Meetings FAQs to know - Astros.com
Astros opt to non-tender righty Sanchez - Astros.com
Might Astros consider these new free agents? - Astros.com

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- Bob Hulsey