Astros' early moves ease pressure of Meetings

Additions of Beltran, Morton, McCann, Reddick mean Luhnow can sharpen focus

Astros' early moves ease pressure of Meetings

HOUSTON -- At this pace, the most stressful part of the Winter Meetings for Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow might be his daily workout in the hotel gym.

The Astros, having acquired starting pitcher Charlie Morton, catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Josh Reddick and veteran Carlos Beltran within the past two weeks, still have another move or two remaining as Luhnow continues his search for possibly another starting pitcher -- before the Winter Meetings start on Monday.

Hot Stove Tracker

Luhnow has said the club could have most of its offseason heavy lifting done prior to the start of the Winter Meetings, and he's nearly there. With the addition of Beltran on Saturday according to sources, the Astros' lineup is one of the deepest in the Major Leagues.

"I think there's a chance the big moves could all be done before the Winter Meetings," Luhnow said last week. "That's the hope."

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Winter Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 8 a.m. CT.

Reddick brings tools to Houston

The additions of McCann and Reddick provide much-needed left-handed bats. They'll join a young core anchored by Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman. Slugger Evan Gattis and Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel give manager A.J. Hinch a plethora of dangerous bats.

Still, there's room for more.

Astros owner Jim Crane has started to spend more money this year, beginning with the signing of Gurriel to a five-year, $47.5 million deal. Morton is on board for $14 million guaranteed for two years, and Reddick inked a four-year, $52 million deal. What's more, the Astros are paying $11.5 million of McCann's contract in each of the next two years.

McCann on joining Astros

"It does make it a little easier in that we've already accomplished a couple of goals," Luhnow said. "When you go to the Winter Meetings and try to get everything done in three or four days, it can be pretty intense. If we can afford to go to the Winter Meetings focused on one or two complementary moves, that would be the best outcome for us."

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.