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April 1st, 2021
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January 21 - This Date in Astros History
January 21 - This Date in Astros History
January 21

2005 - Roger Clemens forestalls retirement yet again, signing the richest salary ever for a pitcher as he agrees to return to the Astros for an $18 million dollar paycheck.
1999 - Houston signs four players to minor league deals but all will see action with the Astros. Pitchers Brian Williams and Jeff McCurry come to terms along with outfielders Alex Diaz and Ryan Thompson. Williams, in his second tour as an Astro, plays the biggest role going 2-1 in 50 games out of the bullpen. For McCurry, it was a nice 29th birthday present, having been born in Tokyo, Japan on this day in 1970.
1955 - Reliever Dave Smith is born in Richmond, CA. He would register 199 saves for Houston and was named to the Astros All-Time Team in 1999. He dies on December 17, 2008 at his California home of an apparent heart attack.

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Date      Opp      Result
2/27     #WSH       ----
2/28      MIA       ----
3/01     @DET       ----
3/02     @NYY       ----
3/03      NYM       ----
3/04     #WSH       ----
3/04     @MIA       ----
3/05     @NYM       ----
3/06     #WSH       ----
3/07      STL       ----
3/08     @STL       ----
3/09     @NYM       ----
3/10      off        --
3/11      NYM       ----
3/12     @STL       ----
3/12      MIA       ----
3/13      NYY       ----
3/14     @MIA       ----
3/15      MIN       ----
3/16     @MIN       ----
3/17     #WSH       ----
3/18      NYM       ----
3/19     @MIA       ----
3/20      DET       ----
3/21      STL       ----
3/22      off        --
3/23     #WSH       ----
3/23     @STL       ----
3/24     @NYM       ----
3/25      STL       ----
3/26     #WSH       ----
3/27      MIA       ----

# - at W. Palm Beach

Spring record:     - 

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Houston Astros recap - 01/20/21 - Springer Flees The Country
Springer Flees The Country
Brantley: Staying In Houston?

Springer: Flying north of the border
(c) Associated Press
Practically every Astros fan knew this day would happen, but it became official this week when All-Star outfielder George Springer signed a free agent deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, making the void in the Houston outfield pronounced with just a few weeks before spring training is scheduled to start.

Springer agreed to a six-year, $150 million deal to play for the Jays. The 31-year-old flychaser, a first-round choice of the Astros and Ed Wade in 2011, played seven seasons with the Astros, batting .270 with 174 homers and an .852 OPS. A three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner, the Connecticut native thrilled fans with his all-out defense and infectious enthusiasm.

While many stars wilt in the glare of the postseason, Springer excelled - batting .269 with 19 homers (an .895 OPS) in 63 games. He also won the 2017 World Series MVP Award in defeating the Dodgers.

Earlier, it was reported that fellow Astro Michael Brantley had also signed with the Blue Jays, however word from his representatives claims no deal has been worked out although the Jays are one of the teams pursuing the 33-year-old outfielder. The four-time All-Star hit .309 with 27 homers (an .867 OPS) during 1-1/2 seasons in Houston after spending his first ten years with Cleveland.

UPDATE: Unconfirmed reports now say Brantley has agreed to stay in Houston on a two-year, $32 million contract pending a physical

Honestly, anything that makes life harder for the Yankess and Red Sox is not a bad thing. The AL East could turn into a four-way donnybrook between the young Jays, the frugal Rays, the big-spending Yankees and the egotistical BoSox. Only Baltimore would seem to have no chance in that division.

And what do the Astros get by letting go of their top outfielder? Virtually nothing. Houston will get a compensatory draft pick for losing Springer, reported to be a fourth-round choice in 2021.

This ought to be a lesson for the Astros' front office when they consider what to do with shortstop Carlos Correa, next year's big free agent. It's hoped the Astros sign their former first overall pick to a multi-year extension or trade him in a big package that nets some future stars. Letting him walk for nothing as they did with Springer seems completely inexplicable to a fan base watching their 2017-19 AL Champs getting slowly dismantled.

Is James Click here to "manage Houston's decline" or is he trying to rebuild a winner? While it's not totally fair due to a pandemic and a cheating scandal, the Astros haven't made a significant upgrade since trading for Zack Greinke at the 2019 deadline. That seems like a long time ago. Signing backup catchers and middle relievers won't fill that void.

Are the Astros the team that went 29-31 last year and seemed uninspired half the time or the one who came one win away from the World Series in the playoffs? Probably neither but they are drifting further from the winners circle seemingly with every month.

In other news, the baseball world lost another Hall of Famer when former Astros hurler Don Sutton passed away this week at age 75 from cancer. Sutton debuted with the Dodgers in 1966 at age 21 and was the starting pitcher in the first game played on artificial turf. After 15 seasons where he won 230 games, the righthander signed a free agent deal with the Astros for the 1981 season. He went 24-17 in two seasons before being traded to Milwaukee towards the end of the 1982 campaign for outfielder Kevin Bass and pitchers Frank DiPino and Mike Madden.

A four-time All-Star, Sutton continued to pitch through 1988, finishing with 324 career wins, receiving the Hall of Fame nod on the fifth ballot.

The Astros Daily extends our condolences to the Sutton household.

- Bob Hulsey

Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
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RSS Feed | News Archives
Castro returning to Astros on two-year, $7M deal, source says - ESPN
Source: Astros reach agreement with Castro - Houston Chronicle
Sigh of relief as Brantley re-signs with Astros - Houston Press
Brantley’s return to Astros a good counter to Springer’s departure - Houston Chronicle
Brantley re-signs with Astros on two-year contract - CBS Sports
Astros keep free agent outfielder Brantley in the fold - USA Today
Brantley, Astros agree to two-year, $32M deal - Houston Chronicle
Report: Brantley agrees to two-year deal with Astros - SportsNet
How Houston can reshape outfield in 2021 - Astros.com
Reports: Astros bring back Brantley - TSN
Losing Springer inevitable but still painful for Astros - Houston Chronicle
Source: Devenski reaches minor league deal with Diamondbacks - Houston Chronicle
Springer's top 5 moments in Astros uniform - Astros.com
Jason Castro, Astros agree to deal (sources) - Astros.com
Astros end drama, seal Brantley deal (source) - Astros.com
Astros hold on to Michael Brantley with two-year contract - Houston Chronicle
Springer Flees The Country
- Astros Daily
Ex-Astro, Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton dies at 75 - Houston Chronicle
Springer is gone. How do the Astros replace him? - Houston Chronicle
Springer reaches record deal with Blue Jays: reports - Associated Press
Springer, Blue Jays agree to six-year, $150 million deal - Sports Illustrated
Hall of Famer Don Sutton dies at 75 - Astros.com
Astros fan had big mustache, bigger heart - Astros.com
Houston prospect Nova's '21 goal? The Show - Astros.com
Astros' mustachioed superfan Valentin Jalomo dead at 81 - Houston Chronicle
Springer leaving Astros for reported $150 million deal - Houston Chronicle
Baez can boost option price, buyout with Astros - ESPN
Quick Hits: Blue Jays, Brantley, Cardinals, Hicks, Astros - MLB Trade Rumors
The 5 best single games by Astros pitchers - Astros.com
Luhnow is interested in purchasing a Liga MX club - Caught Offside
Astros 2nd team sued over minor-league shakeup - Call to the Pen
Astros GM trolls new reliever Pedro Baez literally upon arrival - FanSided
Correa, Astros heading to arbitration - Astros.com
Astros, Blue Jays, Mets after Brad Hand - CBS Sports
Tri-City ValleyCats suing MLB, Astros - Associated Press
Astros building their own stable of arms in the bullpen - Houston Chronicle
ValleyCats suing MLB, Astros for loss of affiliation - Ballpark Digest
Báez signs 2-yr. deal; what's next for 'pen? - Astros.com
Tri-City ValleyCats file lawsuit against Astros, MLB - MLB Trade Rumors
Astros face $3 million gap in talks with Correa who is headed to arbitration hearing - Houston Chronicle
Astros reach deal with McCullers; Correa headed to arbitration - Associated Press
Disgraced ex-Astros GM Jeff Luhnow wants to buy a Mexican soccer club - CBS Sports
Astros, MLB sued by former Tri-City farm club after losing affiliation - Albany Times-Union
Astros, Correa headed to salary arbitration hearing - Houston Chronicle
Astros agree to deal with Cuban OF Pedro Leon - Houston Chronicle
Cuban OF Leon among Astros' int'l signings - Astros.com
Correa, Astros heading to arbitration - Astros.com
Astros Buy On Baez
- Astros Daily

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- Bob Hulsey