The Astros are looking to conquer Mexico

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What did Mexico ever do to us? We took half their land under the banner of Manifest Destiny, our insatiable appetite for drugs has ripped that country apart with violence and for decades we have sent our most vapid and annoying college students to Cancun on spring break. Now we go even lower:

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow returned from Mexico on Wednesday after meeting with United States ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne about growing baseball in the nation and in particular the Astros brand … Luhnow said there have been early conversations about the Astros playing a game or games in either Mexico City or Monterrey.

I kid, of course. The Astros are bad, but I’m pretty sure taking California, Texas and stuff from them was way worse.

OK, now total seriousness: I like this a lot. It always seemed to me that Major League Baseball should do more to promote the game in Mexico. Yes, that’s tough given that Mexico has its own major leagues and likely doesn’t want us crowding that stuff out, but why there isn’t more going on down there has always been a mystery to me.

Mariners acquire Nick Rumbelow from Yankees

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The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.

The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.

Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.

Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.