Astros, Cuban lefty Perez agree to revised deal

After $5.15 million contract voided in October, elite prospect signs for $2 million

Astros, Cuban lefty Perez agree to revised deal

Cionel Perez once again has a deal with the Astros.

The Astros announced the signing Friday afternoon almost two months after Houston voided a deal with the 20-year-old Cuban left-hander worth $5.15 million -- the largest contract awarded to an international amateur prospect under the international signing guidelines in franchise history -- because of concerns with his physical. Earlier in the day Perez's agent issued a statement on his behalf in which he expressed frustration with the international free-agent process and MLB. The statement said Perez's contract is for $2 million.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros set up potential post-Meetings moves

Houston remains in market for pitching help

Astros set up potential post-Meetings moves

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Astros roared into the Winter Meetings as one of the most aggressive teams of the offseason, making four significant additions to their lineup and getting a starting pitcher before landing in the nation's capital.

Things quieted down as the Meetings progressed, at least publicly. Behind the scenes, Houston was working to land another starting pitcher and some bullpen help, though a starter was the club's key goal. The Astros' unwillingness to part with any of the players on their big league roster may have cost them a shot at Chris Sale, but the team is steadfast in its pursuit of an impact arm.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros lose RHP Hauschild to Rangers in Rule 5 Draft

Houston plucks 3 prospects, including 2 knuckleballers, in Minors phase

Astros lose RHP Hauschild to Rangers in Rule 5 Draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Right-handed pitcher Mike Hauschild, who was drafted in the 33rd round by the Astros in 2012 and went 9-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 24 starts last season at Triple-A Fresno, was taken by the Rangers in the Rule 5 Draft on Friday.

Hauschild, 26, wasn't considered a top prospect, but he was one of the players the Astros discussed placing on the 40-man roster, though they ultimately decided not to. Teams pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the drafting team's 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros could dangle prospects to get pitching

Astros could dangle prospects to get pitching

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- With general manager Jeff Luhnow remaining firm in his belief he doesn't want to trade any players who are essential to the core of the team's production next season in his pursuit of pitching, the Astros may have to swallow hard in parting with some of their top prospects.

The Astros continued their quest for pitching on the third day of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday and would likely have to give up at least one of their top prospects to land a quality starting pitcher.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hinch feeling bullish about Astros' bats

Hinch feeling bullish about Astros' bats

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Making out the lineup card last season wasn't exactly the highlight of Astros manager A.J. Hinch's daily ritual. The bottom half certainly had its limits, though the additions of Alex Bregman and Yulieski Gurriel lengthened it later in the season.

Acquiring veteran hitters Brian McCann, Josh Reddick, Carlos Beltran and Norichika Aoki in the offseason to add to Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Evan Gattis, Bregman and Gurriel has given Hinch one of the deepest lineups in baseball. Needless to say, he likes where his team is headed in 2017.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros focusing rest of Winter Meetings on arms

Astros focusing rest of Winter Meetings on arms

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Having acquired key offensive pieces in Carlos Beltran, Josh Reddick and Brian McCann within the past few weeks, the Astros are spending the remainder of the Winter Meetings trying to land another starting pitcher to bolster the rotation.

Left-hander Chris Sale, one of the biggest names available on the trade market, was dealt to Boston on Tuesday, though it's believed the Astros were never seriously in the mix. Quality arms are still available, though, and the Astros are more likely to target a middle-of-the-rotation hurler than they are someone who could be considered an ace, such as Chris Archer of the Rays.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros finalize 1-year deal with Beltran

Slugger, who made name for himself in Houston, agrees to $16 million

Astros finalize 1-year deal with Beltran

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Carlos Beltran never wanted to leave Houston a dozen years ago. He was coming off an unforgettable postseason performance, was on the verge of stardom and wanted to be with the Astros for the next seven years.

So the Astros, who had acquired Beltran in a trade with Kansas City midway through the 2004 season, made him a seven-year offer following the season, but were stunned when he signed with the Mets for seven years and $119 million after Houston wouldn't give him a no-trade clause.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tix, meet-and-greet with Altuve up for bid

Tix, meet-and-greet with Altuve up for bid

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Astros fans have a chance to bid for a meet-and-greet with All-Star second baseman and two-time batting champion Jose Altuve as part of a prize in MLB's annual "Play Ball" auction initiative, which this year will help dedicate a youth baseball and softball field in the name of late Mets staffer Shannon Forde.

The winning bidder will receive four field-box tickets and the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field, where they can meet Altuve, who finished third in American League Most Valuable Player voting last season. Altuve was named the MLB Player of the Year in the Players Choice Awards, and also won his third consecutive Silver Slugger Award.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros claim lefty reliever Tolliver off waivers

Astros claim lefty reliever Tolliver off waivers

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Astros added another left-handed option to their bullpen mix on Monday by claiming Ashur Tolliver of waivers from the Angels.

Tolliver, 28, made his Major League debut with the Orioles in Houston on May 26 and wound up appearing in five games for Baltimore, allowing five hits and four runs (three earned) in 4 2/3 innings. Tolliver, who was selected by the Angels off waivers in September, went 1-1 with two saves and a 2.23 ERA in 33 Minor League games across four levels of play.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Correa, Altuve, Beltran commit to WBC

Correa, Altuve, Beltran commit to WBC

With the World Baseball Classic just a few months away, the rosters are beginning to take shape. More names surfaced Monday as the World Baseball Classic released an initial list of 30 players who are confirmed to be participating in the 2017 tournament.

Spanning 16 countries, the players include 24 Major League All-Stars, but the upcoming WBC, which will take place in March, provides a global stage for veterans and rising stars alike.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros fans flock to holiday event at Minute Maid

Gattis, 'Orbit Claus' part of Homeplate for the Holidays

Astros fans flock to holiday event at Minute Maid

HOUSTON -- Thousands of Astros fans, buoyed by seasonal temperatures and a flurry of offseason signings, took a chance to escape Saturday's torrential rain by coming to Minute Maid Park for the team's first Homeplate for the Holidays event, which featured an appearance by "Orbit Claus."

The event, which was free with a voucher, was a huge success, said Astros senior vice president of marketing and communications Anita Sehgal. The 5,000 event vouchers initially made available online were claimed within 24 hours, and the Astros made plans to accommodate more fans.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch every homer from Beltran's '04 postseason

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Watch every homer from Beltran's '04 postseason

When the Astros traded for Carlos Beltran at the 2004 non-waiver Trade Deadline, they thought they had acquired a very good two-way player. And, for the remainder of the regular season, they were correct. Beltran hit 23 homers and posted a .926 OPS over 90 games in Houston, helping lead the team to a Wild Card berth.

And then October came around, and Beltran morphed from "very good two-way player" to "dinger demigod intent on waging war against every postseason record imaginable." Even more than a decade later, the numbers defy belief: 12 games, a .435/.536/1.022 slash line and eight dingers -- including an absurd stretch of six in five games. So, now that Beltran is officially headed back to Houston, what better way to celebrate than to watch every single one of them?

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Sources: Springer on US provisional roster for WBC

Astros outfielder also eligible to play for Puerto Rico in Classic

Sources: Springer on US provisional roster for WBC

George Springer is on the United States' provisional roster for the 2017 World Baseball Classic, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on Friday, and the Astros' right fielder is reportedly strongly considering playing.

Springer told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart this week that he was unsure whether he would play in the tournament.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros avoid arbitration with Aoki, tender deals to 7

Astros avoid arbitration with Aoki, tender deals to 7

HOUSTON -- As expected, all seven of the Astros' arbitration-eligible players were tendered contracts on Friday, which was the deadline for teams to offer contracts to those players.

The seven players are pitchers Dallas Keuchel, Will Harris, Mike Fiers and Collin McHugh, utility player Marwin Gonzalez and outfielders George Springer and Jake Marisnick. On Wednesday, the Astros reached a one-year, $5.5 million deal with outfielder Norichika Aoki, avoiding arbitration.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer willing, ready for more games in CF

Astros have plenty of defensive options in the OF for '17

Springer willing, ready for more games in CF

HOUSTON -- Astros outfielder George Springer came through the Minor Leagues as a center fielder and moved to right field when he reached the Majors to accommodate Dexter Fowler. The addition of free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick means Springer will get more time in center in 2017, but versatility remains a key strength for manager A.J. Hinch.

Springer, who has played only 19 games in center field in three years in the big leagues (311 in right field), will see more action in center field next year than he has at any point since he joined the Astros. A finalist for an American League Gold Glove Award in right field last season, Springer has the speed and athleticism to be a stellar center fielder.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

The Next Big Leaguers: Astros' Martes

A team-by-team look at future key contributors who starred in the 2016 Arizona Fall League

The Next Big Leaguers: Astros' Martes

The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros staff steps up at Thanksgiving

Astros staff steps up at Thanksgiving

HOUSTON -- The Astros are always in the spirit of giving off the field, thanks to the Astros Foundation. It's the official team charity active all year long, raising money and donating time. That's especially true during the holidays, when help is needed the most.

Astros staff volunteered at the Star of Hope Women and Family Emergency Center on Friday, assisting with meal preparation and lunch service at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter. They will also be volunteering on Dec. 2.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Martes, Laureano among Fall League's Top 25 prospects

Martes, Laureano among Fall League's Top 25 prospects

While the most talented team doesn't always win the championship, it did in the Arizona Fall League. The Mesa Solar Sox wrapped up the East Division crown on the final day of the regular season before rolling to an easy victory in the AFL's one-game playoff for its first title since 2003.

Mesa had the league's deepest lineup, as evidenced by its seven hitters who rank among the AFL's 20 best prospects below. The Solar Sox had star power with outfielders Eloy Jimenez (Cubs) and Bradley Zimmer (Indians) and second baseman Ian Happ (Cubs), all of whom sit in the 20s on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list. They also had emerging talents such as shortstop Yu-Cheng Chang and outfielder Greg Allen, who have been overshadowed in a deep Indians system, and league home run leader Brian Anderson (Marlins No. 4 prospect), who had support for making our list.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick ready to contribute to young Astros

Houston addresses priority by adding left-handed bat to lineup

Reddick ready to contribute to young Astros

HOUSTON -- The Astros made it clear from the beginning of free agency that left-handed-hitting outfielder Josh Reddick was a high-priority signing for the club in strengthening its lineup.

"He's a perfect fit for our team," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "A Gold Glove-caliber outfielder with a terrific arm. We're going to have a formidable outfield."

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Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros open roster space, outright Singleton

Former top prospect off Houston's 40-man; Fontana claimed off waivers by Angels

Astros open roster space, outright Singleton

HOUSTON -- The Astros cleared two spots off their 40-man roster on Tuesday by outrighting former top prospect Jon Singleton to Triple-A Fresno and losing infielder Nolan Fontana, who was claimed off outright waivers by the Angels.

Singleton, who signed a five-year, $10 milion contract upon his promotion to the big leagues in 2014, was placed on outright waivers on Friday and cleared Tuesday. The moves leave the Astros with 37 players on their 40-man roster, not including the impending addition of free-agent outfielder Josh Reddick.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After falling short, Bagwell seeks HOF push

After falling short, Bagwell seeks HOF push

HOUSTON -- When the 2016 Hall of Fame voting results were announced last January, former Astros slugger Jeff Bagwell admitted he had a hard time waiting to see if his name would be called because of the uncertainty of it all.

Bagwell, who's on the ballot for a seventh time this year, should be a little more at ease when the results of the 2017 Hall of Fame balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America are announced on Jan. 18. He appeared on 71.6 percent of the ballots last year, putting him on the cusp of being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Laureano among Fall League's top breakout prospects

Laureano among Fall League's top breakout prospects

The 25th season of the Arizona Fall League is now complete, and the silver anniversary edition of the league was one of the best in terms of top prospects and outstanding performances.

It wasn't just the elite-level prospects and the more known names who stood out, though it was certainly exciting to see the Gleyber Torreses of the world live up to, and exceed, expectations. But every year, the AFL helps the more under-the-radar types put themselves more firmly on the prospect map.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros acquire McCann from Yanks for 2 Minor League pitchers

Astros acquire McCann from Yanks for 2 Minor League pitchers

HOUSTON -- Brian McCann seemed like a perfect fit for the Astros, a left-handed-hitting catcher who could still provide some offensive punch while giving them some veteran leadership. The Astros pulled off a deal on Thursday to acquire McCann, sending Minor League pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman to the Yankees.

McCann is the Astros' second key acquisition in as many days. The club signed right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton to a two-year contract on Wednesday in a move to add depth and experience to the rotation. Morton threw to McCann as a member of the Braves, and they were part of the same Draft class with Atlanta in 2002.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve finishes 3rd in AL MVP Award vote

Altuve finishes 3rd in AL MVP Award vote

HOUSTON -- In a season in which he provided the catalyst to the Astros' offense all year long and posted career-high numbers in several offensive categories, All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve earned a third-place finish in voting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Altuve, who won his second AL batting title in three years and set career highs in homers (24), RBIs (96), slugging percentage, total bases and OPS, landed third behind winner Mike Trout of the Angels, who took home his second AL MVP Award, and Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, who finished second in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCann's greatest game came against his new team

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McCann's greatest game came against his new team

Five years ago, the Braves faced the Astros and a catcher named Brian McCann had the greatest game of his career. On Thursday, the Astros officially forgave McCann by trading for him, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't take a step back in time and remember the day McCann lived out the childhood fantasy of every baseball fan.

On May 7, 2011, the Braves' starting catcher was a guy named David Ross, who you may know better by the name "Grandpa Rossy." Ross was due up with two outs in the ninth and the Braves trailing, 1-0, when manager Fredi Gonzalez opted to use Brian McCann as a pinch-hitter. The result couldn't have been better.

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Astros sign free-agent Morton to 2-year deal

Veteran pitcher healthy, eager to join rotation mix for '17

Astros sign free-agent Morton to 2-year deal

HOUSTON -- The Astros added some depth and experience to their starting rotation mix on Wednesday by reaching a two-year deal with free-agent right-hander Charlie Morton, who was injured most of last season.

The deal is worth $14 million for two years, a source told MLB.com, plus incentives that could pay Morton as much as $9.5 million for each of the two seasons ($19 million total) if he reaches 30 starts yearly. He made a career-high 29 starts in 2011 for the Pirates.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros' Martes sharp in final Fall League start

Astros' Martes sharp in final Fall League start

PEORIA, Ariz. -- With a trip to the Arizona Fall League championship at stake, the Glendale Desert Dogs turned to their top hurler, Francis Martes, on the final day of the regular season -- and the No. 29 overall prospect did not disappoint.

"I wanted to give it my best today," Martes said after the game through a translator. "I wanted to be proud to help us get that [championship] ring."

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.