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Players hold annual meeting with MLBPA


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros players held their annual meeting with the Major League Baseball Players Association on Sunday morning, where topics such as the new rules concerning collisions at home plate and expanded instant replay were discussed.

"These meetings are state-of-the-union issues that are at hand, explanations about what's going on, making sure if those guys have questions -- whether you're a veteran guy or a young guy -- if you have questions, we answer those things," said MLBPA executive director Tony Clark. "The message is the same. We spend a lot of time before the meeting, spend time after the meeting -- should there be any individual questions that guys have, and we'll have to answer those, as well."

Catcher Jason Castro, the Astros' representative to the union, said the meeting was pretty straightforward with respect to the Astros.

"We're unique because we have so many young guys and [the MLBPA] has a role in helping us understand how things work, why things work and things like that," said Castro. "I think ... it was probably the most specific to us, but as far as Astros-specific issues, there really wasn't anything. Mostly, it was a state of the Players Association and baseball-related topics like instant replay and catcher's collisions."

Clark was asked by reporters about the Astros' low payroll the last few years, but it didn't appear to be a concern for the MLBPA. Houston's payroll finished at around $13 million last year, and it has spent about $30 million in salary for 2014.

"We watch all of that," Clark said. "We watch trends, we watch how certain clubs are functioning, we watch for things that concern us, we watch for things that appear to be going right. Whether it's Houston or any club, we're going to pay attention to what's going on, how it inevitably is going to affect players, so we're watching."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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