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Dallas Keuchel feels “disappointment” that the Astros didn’t do more at the deadline

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The Astros were involved in plenty of trade rumors leading up to Monday’s 4 PM ET non-waiver trade deadline. The only deal the club executed, however, was acquiring struggling lefty pitcher Francisco Liriano from the Blue Jays with the intent to use him out of the bullpen.

Speaking to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Astros ace Dallas Keuchel said of his team’s action at the deadline, “I’m not going to lie, disappointment is a little bit of an understatement. A bunch of teams really bolstered their rosters for the long haul and for a huge playoff push. Us just standing pat was disappointing to myself. A lot of the guys feel like we can win in here and that’s a pretty accurate statement and that’s why we built such a great lead. I think, when it comes down to it, now it’s going to be we’re going to win for each other and that’s it.”

Keuchel added, “Good teams can always be great and great teams can always be legendary. At the end of the year, we want to be the only ones left. It’s just a little disappointing for sure.”

The Astros enter Tuesday’s action with the best record in the American League at 69-36, putting them on pace to win 106 games. But as we’ve seen plenty of times in years past, the team with the league’s best doesn’t always get to the World Series, let alone win it. So GM Jeff Luhnow may be kicking himself come October if the team doesn’t match up against opponents as well as they appeared to in late July.

Keuchel, 29, is carrying a 9-0 record with a 1.94 ERA and a 72/21 K/BB ratio over 78 2/3 innings.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.