Astros want to sign one of the top free agent closers

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MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros are “going hard” to get one of the top free agent closers. They currently have David Robertson, Sergio Romo, and Andrew Miller (who could close) on their wish list.

The Astros finished with the worst bullpen ERA in baseball this past season at 4.80. Chad Qualls led the team in saves with 19 along with a 3.33 ERA and a 43/5 K/BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings, but obviously, the Astros feel they could do even better.

The Astros improved 19 games from their 111-loss 2013 season, and they’ll look to make further progress next season in the next phase of their rebuilding process under GM Jeff Luhnow.

Trea Turner undergoes surgery on right index finger

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Nationals shortstop Trea Turner underwent surgery on his right index finger, MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa reports. Turner suffered a non-displaced fracture when he was hit by a pitch attempting to bunt in early April.

Turner missed six weeks of action and played through the injury for the remainder of the season. He was quite successful, batting .298/.353/.497 with 19 home runs, 57 RBI, 96 runs scored, and 35 stolen bases across 569 plate appearances. Turner’s performance, especially late in the regular season, helped the Nationals claim the first NL Wild Card. They, of course, would go on to win the World Series.

Turner, who is expected to be healed up by the start of spring training, will be entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He will likely get a sizable raise on his $3.725 million 2019 salary.