Shakeup time: the Astros have announced that president of baseball operations Tal Smith and general manager Ed Wade have been fired. the moves come a week after Jim Crane took control of the team. It was not terribly surprising.
The team said assistant general manager David Gottfried will serve as interim general manager but is not a candidate for the permanent position. There are a lot of potential candidates including two obvious ones in former Astros GM and current Rays senior VP Gerry Hunsicker and current Rays GM Andrew Friedman. Ken Rosenthal names the Rangers’ Thad Levine or A.J. Preller and the Marlins’ Dan Jennings as potential candidates.
It’s been a nutso offseason as far as general manager musical chairs go, as the Orioles, Red Sox, Twins, Angels, Cubs and Padres have gotten new bosses. Now the Astros. The winter meetings look to have more in the way of orientations and introductions than it will have trades and stuff.
As for the Astros, the next big thing after getting a new GM is to decide if manager Brad Mills stays on board. A new guy may want his own man at the helm. That said, Mills has had basically zero chance to do anything with the talent — or lack thereof — he has been provided by the Astros. One would hope that he gets a chance to stick. If not, someone should call the Red Sox and ask them if they’d like their old bench coach back as their next manager.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network says that the Nationals could pursue Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray if Stephen Strasburg‘s forearm issue lingers. Strasburg left Sunday’s start early due to forearm tightness, saying he was unable to get loose. Sometimes that’s a sign of a major injury. Sometimes it’s just a thing that happens and then goes away.
The Nationals will have to make a determination as to how big a deal this all is pretty soon, though, as a lot of other teams, including the Yankees, Brewers and Astros have all been linked to Gray. It seems inevitable at this point that the A’s will move their ace before Monday’s trade deadline.
Gray is set to start tonight. It may very well be his last in an A’s uniform.