LaVelle Neal reports that Joe Mauer’s agent, Ron Shapiro, is in Fort Myers meeting with Twins’ execs today. Everyone is saying it’s a routine visit, but Neal reports that, yes, Shapiro and the Twins will be negotiating about Mauer, which they have been doing on and off for a few weeks now.
Ominous note: Neal says “there are indications that progress has slowed recently.” Given how mum everyone has been about it I’m not sure how you can tell, but Neal knows more than I do about it. Whatever the case, recall that Mauer likely won’t be negotiating after spring training is over, so if there’s a deal to be done, they best get to it.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.