The Astros clean house: Ed Wade, Tal Smith fired

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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.

Report: Twins interested in Wade Miley

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Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.

The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.

Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”